Is There Only Room for Internet Poker?
The struggle to legalize online gaming continues this week. Though some states are posting profits and people are happy, there are still opponents to the issue. They’re so opposed to this issue, in fact, that they’ve created a new bill to segment the legalization of online gaming.
The bill, which is currently floating around Capital Hill, strengthens the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act and amends the 1961 Wire Act. This bill, which is titled Internet Gambling Prohibition and Control Act of 2014, seeks to allow only very specific formats of online gambling to be legalized. The form of online gambling that would be fine? Poker.
This bill clearly states what would and wouldn’t be allowed. Casinos are specifically mentioned to be illegal, should this pass. Internet poker, however, would be legal, but only if it remains lawful under both state and tribal laws. It’s unclear if sites would be allowed to run promotions to generate new business, such as no deposit bonus offers. Horse racing and lotteries would be exempt from the bill.
The only question is: Why?
What makes Internet Poker so different than other forms of gambling? It’s been proven that legalizing online gaming generates large numbers for the state that it’s legalized in, so why are there so many opponents of it, and why aren’t they speaking out? As of right now, the author of the Internet Poker bill remains a mystery.
There are people that still tend to think that online gaming will hurt land-based casinos, such as Sheldon Adelson. Sheldon’s a self-made billionaire. In fact, he’s the 11th wealthiest person in the nation. He’s also vowed to “spend whatever it takes” to put a complete halt to online gambling.
“My moral standard compels me to speak out on this issue because I am the largest company by far in the industry and I am willing to speak out. I don’t see any compelling reason for the government to allow people to gamble on the Internet and nobody has ever explained except for the two companies whose special interest is going to be served if there is gaming on the Internet, Caesars and MGM,” he said, in an interview with The Washington Post.
He goes on to say that the legalization of online gambling would cause people to lose their homes. With a net worth of more than $35 billion, he’s more than willing to spend every dime he has to make sure that online gambling dies a slow and painful death, which includes the banning of games like Internet Poker.
The bill on Capital Hill will likely see opposition from Sheldon, as well as a number of other opponents, should it ever be introduced into legislation.