Pennsylvania Online Gambling Legalization Forces Two U.S Senators

Posted by Carolyn on Nov 29, 2017 Posted in Legal Poker News, Online Poker News, US Poker News | No Comments »

Pennsylvania made headlines in the online gambling community this October, when it became the fourth state in the country to legalize online gambling. Pennsylvania now joins Nevada, New Jersey and Delaware as being the only four states in America to offer legalized online gambling. Gaming analysts estimate that the online gaming market in Pennsylvania could generate close to $40 million annually.

U.S Senators Ask DoJ To Restore 1961 Wire Act

California Senator Dianne Feinstein and South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham were not very happy to learn that Pennsylvania had legalized online gambling. Both Senators have opposed online gambling legislation efforts in the past and decided to write a letter to the Department of Justice (DoJ) and push them to restore the 1961 Wire Act.

Their letter in part says “Pennsylvania has recently enacted legislation authorizing internet gambling, and other states are lined up to follow suit. Online casinos are already operating across state lines pursuant to compacts, and states are contemplating opening up their online casinos to foreign markets. We fear that unless the DOJ promptly revisits its 2011 opinion, our prediction that online casinos could spread across the country could come to pass.”

When the Obama administration was in power, the DoJ decided to make changes to the 1961 Wire Act. Those changes basically allowed each state the freedom to decide whether they wanted to pass a bill that would allow legalized online gambling or continue with a bill that banned online gambling.

The Senators wanted the DOJ under the Trump Administration to reverse that ruling made in 2011 and restore the 1961 Wire Act which will then strip each state of the power to make any decision regarding online gambling legalization and allow the federal government to make a ruling regarding a blanket ban.

Online Gambling Legalization Efforts Could Grow Rapidly

Senators Graham and Feinstein have reason to be concerned about online gambling legalization efforts as there are reportedly another 10 states discussing online gambling legalization bills. New York, California, Michigan and Hawaii are some of the states that have review online gambling bills in recent years.

Gaming analysts believe that California could very well become the fifth state to legalize online gambling and that has fired up Senator Feinstein to call on her state’s legislators to continue to take a tough stance on online gambling legalization. However, given the potential revenue that the online gambling industry can generate for each state, especially with inter-state liquidity agreements, Senator Feinstein could be fighting a losing battle.

The push for online gambling legalization could receive a major boost before the end of 2017. This is because New Jersey is expecting the Supreme Court to hear its case to overturn the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (PASPA) law that bans sports betting. New Jersey has filed a lawsuit on the basis that PASPA is unconstitutional and remains optimistic that the court will allow sports betting to be legalized in the Garden State.

If sports betting gets legalized in New Jersey, more states will push for sports betting to be legalized and should also get approval. Once sports betting becomes mainstream, it will be just a matter of time before online gambling also gains necessary approval.

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