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Anti Online Gambling News from USA

By: Ryan Alders, Thursday February 23rd 2012
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Whereas many American states are contemplating way and means of legalizing and regulating at least some forms of online gambling, there are some states that are moving in the opposite direction.

One of the states is Utah. Republican Representative Stephen Sandstrom had introduced a bill in the House, HB108, which sought to totally ban online gambling in the state, even if federal legalization came to being. This bill was passed in the Utah House of Representatives by a vote of 61 to 9 on February 21, 2012 and will now go to the Senate. The opponents to the bill tried to stall it by pointing out that any federal legislation would have to include a state opt-out clause and hence would not be binding on Utah. Therefore there was no need for a bill like HB108. Sandstrom, who is running for USA Congress, countered that any federal opt-out clause would have to be acted upon by Utah within 60 days of the federal enactment. There could be unforeseen delays in acting at that time. His bill would safeguard Utah against having a situation of legalized online gambling by default. HB108, if passed, would make it binding on the governor of Utah to immediately notify Washington DC that Utah will not participate in any online gambling even if permitted by law and exercises its rights to opt out even in advance of such federal legislation being passed. Sandstrom said that Utah was a unique state in that it does not sanction any forms of gambling. All gambling is banned by the state constitution.

In Iowa there appears to be a clash of opinion between the law makers and the citizens. A bill was cleared by a Senate sub-committee on February 20, 2012 that would allow casino operators in the state to establish online poker web sites. These would be regulated and taxed in a way similar to brick-and-mortar casinos. However, a recent poll was conducted in February, 2012, with 800 adult Iowans as the sample. The results showed that 69% of residents are not in favor of online gambling, 28% are in favor and 3% are undecided. The results are along the same lines of a similar poll conducted in February 2011. Then 73% of the citizens sampled had voted against online gambling. Not much can be read into the slight fall of 4%.

In Washington DC, Councilor Michael A. Brown is having second thoughts about bringing another online gambling bill. Earlier this year councilors had repealed the law legalizing online gambling. Brown was the prime mover behind that law. Last year the US Congress had not interfered with the bill in the 30 day window allowed to them. But now Brown feels that the Congress could well scuttle fresh attempts to allow legalized online gambling in the District.

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