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Two US Senators Want Restoration of the Wire Act

- November 29, 2017 By Oliver Young -

Pennsylvania passed an online gambling act.

Two Senators argue that the Wire Act should apply to online gambling.

The United States remains to be one of the few developed countries in the world with a very restrictive attitude towards gambling in most of its forms, and America is a particularly hostile environment for all forms of online gambling and betting, despite the fact that a large proportion of its population is pretty keen both on casino gambling, as well as sports betting and huge amounts of money is regularly wagered on popular sports events like the Super Bowl.

However, certain states which have a more liberal approach towards online gambling and wish to legalise it, or at least legalise some of its forms, have been looking for ways and solutions to the problem. In Pennsylvania there were more than few attempts to come up with a solution, and finally a gambling bill was passed and the Governor signed it into law at the beginning of the month.

One Democrat and One GOP Senator Joined Forces

Opponents of online gambling weren’t happy about the decision and some of those who support the restoration of the American Wire Act decided to take certain measures against the legalisation of online gambling. Namely, two Senators decided to write a letter to the Department of Justice, demanding action, i.e. demanding the Department of Justice to reach a decision that Pennsylvania’s newly passed act isn’t in accordance with the Wire Act.

The Senators aren’t from the same party, Dianne Feinstein is a Democrat from California, whereas Lindsey Graham is a Republican from South Carolina are the two senators in question. The same duo of Senators wrote a similar letter, urging the Department of Justice to take quick action. The reason for the concern of the two Senators was the fact that in 2011 the OLC (Office of Legal Counsel) decided that the Wire Act doesn’t apply to online gambling.

The reason why the OLC reached this decision is very obvious, there was no internet at the time when the Wire Act was passed and therefor it couldn’t have applied to online gambling.

The Role of President Trump

The two Senators now argue that online gambling is a dangerous matter and that promoting online gambling might have a serious effect on children, moreover they also suggest that internet gambling and gambling accounts can be used for money-laundering, despite the fact that a good legal solution will prevent money-laundering via online gambling.

Feinstein and Graham feel that many new online casinos will appear if the Department of Justice doesn’t revisit its opinion. However, the fact remains that many Americans are already gambling online, mostly at foreign casinos, and that legalisation will only bring control to the market and protect both citizens and their funds.

Many believe that the relationship between President Trump and land-based casino magnate Sheldon Adelson will have a serious impact on the status of online gambling. Adelson is a strong opponent to online gambling, but even though he is a great supporter of the GOP, his relations with Trump deteriorated in the past few years. As a result, many feel that Trump now won’t be very keen on banning online gambling as he might’ve been.

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