Two hearings in November of 2011, examined the decriminalization of Internet gambling in the United States:
- U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs – Hearing – Thursday 11/17/2011 – 2:15PM – Oversight Meeting – OVERSIGHT HEARING on the Future of Internet Gaming: What’s at Stake for Tribes?
- House Energy and Commerce Committee – Hearing – Internet Gambling: Regulating in an Online World – Friday – 11/18/2011
Efforts to decriminalize Internet gambling in the U.S. have been ongoing for more than a decade. In 2006, however, the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act or UIGEA (see Title VIII in SAFE Port Act) was signed into law, which supplemented the Federal Wire Act of 1961 and gave the U.S. Department of Justice the tools and clarity needed to prosecute illegal, online gambling operations.
Formerly, Rep. Barney Frank led the push, with Poker Players Alliance, to give foreign casinos access to U.S. gamblers. His efforts failed. Now, Reps. John Campbell (R-CA), and Joe Barton (R-TX), have introduced 2011 legislation to repeal or overturn UIGEA, decriminalize online gambling, and bring virtual casinos into homes and remote devices in the U.S. See their bills below:
- H.R. 2366 – Sponsor: Rep. Joe Barton, R-TX (Introduced 6-24-2011)
- H.R. 1174 – Sponsor: Rep. John Campbell, R-CA (Introduced 3-17-2011)
In the above-mentioned November hearings, all gambling interests have a stake in the fight, but none satisfies all gambling interests.
Native American Indian tribes involved with gambling are not happy with current online-gambling bills because of the skewed competition and required taxes.
Foreign, online casino operators are unhappy being exempted from U.S. gambling, particularly with language that gives existing Vegas casinos a monopoly on U.S. Internet gambling.
Commercial casinos want control over all online gambling in the U.S.
Lotteries are not happy with the ensuing competition and loss of money.
And the majority of U.S. senators and representatives are not in full support of creating a national casino, and neither are most citizens. The social and economic costs of such invasive and massive gambling expansion are prohibitive.
The persistent online gambling lobbyists, however, continue to pressure U.S. Members of Congress to cave in and decriminalize this vice.