With the current legislative session ending, the focus has been on the bills that have not been approved by the congress on online poker legalization. Two bills for the legalization of online poker are among those affected since they have been pulled while at the committee stage. This has raised response from those for and against the legalization.
One of the responses is from John Pappas, Poker Players Alliance executive director. On his writing for Yogonet, Pappas opinion is that state-by-state legalization of online poker may be the solution and not federal legalization.
On his writing, Pappas noted that congress is rather inactive due to the stagnation resulting from an election year and the ongoing partisanship. This makes the prospects for licensing legislation and regulation of online poker by the federal government slim. The attention is now drawn to states, which are likely to have more progress in the legalization process.
To support his point of view, Pappas pointed out to the success in legalization achieved by Nevada, New Jersey and Delaware. He pointed out that other States are now considering using the same means of legalizing online poker. Some of the States that seem interested in the regulation of online gambling are Pennsylvania, Colorado, California, Illinois, Massachusetts, Iowa and Hawaii.
Pappas observed that the legalization of online poker by states is a positive trend, though more should be done for players all over the country to access fair playing environment. He argued that the benefits of a US regulated poker are in consumer protection, tax and the use of advanced technology, which minimize the threats of underage and problem gambling, and criminal involvement. He pointed out the success of Europe and the three States that have legalized online gambling.
He did not forget to examine those opposing the legalization of online gaming, mainly Sheldon Adelson the multibillionaire owner of Las Vegas sands. Pappas observed that Mr. Adelson has donated a lot of money, time and effort in bringing down efforts of passing federal and state legislation for licensing and regulating online poker. He has even facilitated introduction of legislation at the federal level to reverse the interpretation of Department of Justice that gives States freedom to make legislation decisions.
Despite opposing the legalization of online casinos, Mr Adelsons casinos also offer online and mobile gambling. This leaves a question as to what his true motives are considering that the proposed regulations in the US are more restrictive than the brick and mortar casinos regulations.
Pappas passion is in defending individual states rights in making their laws on the Internet and mobile gambling. He is against politicians at the federal level trampling on these States rights while denying consumers state level protection. Pappas notes that State lawmakers oppose legislation by the federal government, which is aimed to reverse their rights of passing legislation in licensing and regulating online gambling. According to the lawmakers, States have proven their capability to regulate effectively the gambling industry. Those supporting the federal legislation have not given an instance where the states have been negligent in their responsibilities to consumers and to the industry. Enacting wholesale prohibition on online gambling using the Restoration of America Wire Act is a solution that will lead to further problems.