Democratic Governors: Anti-Online Gaming Law Would Cut $20 Billion in Existing State Revenue
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In a letter to the leaders of Congress expressing concern over the recent push to outlaw internet gambling in the US, the Democratic Governors Association asserted that if such legislation were enacted it would cost state budgets some $20 billion in lottery revenue alone.
Governors Peter Shumlin (D-VT) and Margaret Wood Hassan (D-NH) authored the letter outlining the “severe and disastrous impact on state governments” that would result from a ban on internet gaming as proposed by Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Representative Jason Chaffetz (R-UT).
Under the “Internet Gambling Control Act of 2014,” expected to be formally introduced by Graham this week, all forms of regulated internet gaming and internet lottery—including Mega Millions and Powerball which are currently available in 44 US states and other territories—would be prohibited.
Only online horse racing and fantasy games, explicitly exempt by the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 (UIGEA), would be allowed under the proposed bill.
Gaming regulation has traditionally been under the jurisdiction of the individual states. A federal prohibition would infringe on the rights of 47 US territories that currently have some form of regulated internet gaming.
Such a ban would result in the loss of revenues used to “support critical programs for education, senior care, veterans’ services, environmental protection, responsible gaming treatment programs, and other good causes,” the letter claims.