Discouraging Online Gambling
In 2014 a casino magnate lobbied to make online gambling illegal everywhere. A bill was introduced that would prevent the circumventing of a loophole in federal law when it comes to online gambling. This would effectively shut down the online casinos that had recently been launched in states such as New Jersey. The casino magnate lobbying against online casinos, Mr. Adelson, feels that they have a negative effect on both land based casinos and gamblers alike.
The American Gaming Association was threatened by Mr. Adelson’s lobbying because he said that he would remove himself as a member of the association if the AGA continued to allow and encourage the presence of online casinos.
Mr. Adelson then funded the Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling. Members of the coalition included George Pataki, the former NYC governor that oversaw the expansion of online horse racing sites people could place bets on.
In response to the creation of the Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling, many casinos as well as companies running online poker sites formed the Coalition for Consumer and Online Protection. Their goal was to stop the presence of illegal online gambling sites by making them legal. The coalition argued that banning online gambling violates the rights of each state in the union.
One of the issues surrounding online gambling is the money that it costs people. According to estimates by Morgan Stanley, in the year 2020 online gambling could have a net worth of as much as $8 billion yearly.
The Wire Act is a longstanding federal law banning online gambling. This law was challenged in 2011 when the Justice Department declared that individual states should be allowed to decide for themselves whether or not online gambling should be legal. If Mr. Adelson’s efforts pay off The Wire Act stays intact and keeps online gambling illegal on a federal level. The ban against online gambling is not being applied to horse racing in Kentucky, because much of the state’s revenue comes from its residents betting on the outcome of races.
Though it may seem counterproductive, two of the biggest land based casino owners in the country are supporting online gambling. Both MGM Resorts International and Caesar’s Entertainment have stated that they are hoping the presence of their online casinos will attract younger gamblers to their land based casinos as well.
However, smaller casino companies are still fighting the idea of online gambling because it is hurting their bottom line. MGM and Caesars are able to support online gambling because people are more likely to visit their casinos than lone land based casinos located in deserted areas.
In stark contrast, Steve Wynn has sided with Mr. Adelson on the issue because he feels online gambling will give offline gambling a bad name.
Others that are supporting online gambling are the software companies that provide the games for online casinos. Online poker companies are also encouraging online gambling throughout the country.
The debate continues between discouraging and promoting online gambling sites.
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