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National Conference of State Legislatures Oppose Federal Regulation of Online Poker

Online Poker Legislation

According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Hawaii State Senator Carol Fukunaga and Alabama Representative Greg Wren, on behalf of the National Conference of State Legislatures, have spoken out against the federal legalization of Internet poker, instead advocating regulation at the state level.

"The NCSL believes the federal government should respect the Justice Department ruling [on the Federal Wire Act of 1961] and would oppose any efforts by Congress to preempt state authority over Internet gaming," wrote Fukunaga and Wren in a letter to leaders of both parties in the Senate and House of Representatives.

Fukunaga and Wren, who co-chair the NCSL Communications, Financial Services & Interstate Commerce Committee, reiterated the organization’s resistance to "unwarranted federal preemption of state authority."

The letter went on to say: "We ask Congress to respect the sovereignty of states and to not consider any legislation that would overturn the Department of Justice's ruling or to consider any legislation that would regulate gambling at the federal level.”

"States have long been able to choose whether or not other forms of gambling should be legal and have been very successful in its regulation,” the letter said. “We also ask that the federal government respect the rights of states that choose to prohibit Internet gaming."

For more on this story, visit the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

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  • yolapavement yolapavement

    I dont even enjoy playing on the merge network currently. At most there are 12k people on at one time. If individual states had their own platform you would see the same 15 people over and over and the games would be horrible. It has to be done at a federal level. I remember when it was normal to be on fulltilt with 80k other people. This is what we are used to.

  • badgerman badgerman

    The problem I have with state regulation is smaller player pools, less variety of games, probably greater rake b/c of the smaller player base, 40+ licensing jurisdictions with 40+ sets of rules and applications, etc. etc. etc. It makes absolutely no sense to let states do online poker and the games will definitely be atrocious compared to the ones we used to play online worldwide.

  • Lowgearman Lowgearman

    Really" Here is the problem I have with respect to the National Conference of State Legislatures saying that legalization should be done on the state level. First a decision was made on a National level when Congress passed the Unlawful Internet Gaming Enforcement Act without debate or the consent of the American people so any state legalization and regulation would be in violation of Federal Law, state legislatures know that and they know that licensing and regulation would require a repeal of the UIGEA. As for sovereignty of the states look at what they are doing with regards to abortion rights, free speech rights and voter ID laws but here we go with the old states rights argument again. Do we really want to trust the states to have authority on all of these issues and while we’re at why not throw civil rights decisions in the mix we all know how well the states did with that especially the southern states? Do we really want have a different set of laws for each state this is the 21st Century and we are 1 nation not 50 little banana republic’s or feudal kingdom. Look if you see what going on with all the draconian laws a of these right wing state legislatures are trying to pass you would know that without repeal of the Unlawful Internet Gaming Enforcement Act all this talk about the states taking the lead on online poker is nothing more than a pipe dream. How can you trust the states to legalize Internet Poker when they are working hard to restrict access to abortion and contraception, the answer is you can’t. What the National Conference of State Legislatures which is dominated by right wing Republicans is doing is trying to perpetrate a Great Banana Hoax
    What we need is a national framework for Internet Poker one that is fair, protects consumers and the players privacy only can we have serious discussion that turns this pipe dream back into a reality.

    (fighting one small battle in the Governments War on the American people)

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