Black Friday resulted in a blanket ban on online gaming all across the United States. However during the last 12 months, a number of states have lifted those restrictions and permitted online poker websites to operate. Nevada, Delaware and New Jersey all permit online poker and are even contemplating an inter-state online poker database.
The online gaming industry brings these states a lot of revenue through taxes and also creates jobs and income for their residents. Hence, there are a number of other states who are also contemplating legalizing online poker in the near future, one of them being California.
So when U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham decided to introduce a bill that requested a ban on online gaming and poker all across the United States, there was a huge outcry from a number of concerned parties.
Executive Director John Pappas from the Poker Players Alliance came down hard on the new bill. Pappas said
These bills trample on the rights of states, but of greater concern is the fact that they will deny consumers of any meaningful protections that can only be achieved through responsible state or federal regulation. Today, three states are safely and effectively regulating internet poker. This misguided attempt at prohibition will turn back the clock in those states and destroy the opportunity for others to gain the economic and societal benefits of offering its citizens a safe and regulated place to play online.
This bill was introduced on the 26th of March by Graham, a Republican from South Carolina and Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah). The bill is known as the “Restoration of America’s Wire Act” and has bipartisan support in the U.S. Congress.
To explain the bill and provide more information on the reason for introducing this bill, a press release was issued. The press release stated that the main reason for introducing the bill was due to
the long-standing interpretation of the Wire Act and reverses the Department of Justice’s abrupt December 2011 decision to expand online gaming.
In the release, Graham, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee said
This is yet another example of the Holder Justice Department and Obama Administration ignoring the law. In 1999, South Carolina outlawed video poker and removed over 33,000 video poker machines from within its borders. Now, because of the Obama Administration’s decision, virtually any cell phone or computer can again become a video poker machine. It’s simply not right.