With online gambling offered in Nevada, Delaware and New Jersey, plus soon to be in Pennsylvania, there is no slowing down the option to use the internet for casino and poker gaming in the US. Sports betting was just opened up across the nation in May, with several states seeking to offer the option online as well. It seemed as though any more efforts to push for a federal ban had fell by the wayside. However, that is not the case. Former Senator of Arkansas Blanche Lincoln has decided to try and bring back banning efforts.
In the Financial Times earlier this week, Lincoln tried to use fear tactics in order to push federal ban talk once again. In an op-ed, Lincoln is asking for Congress to look at the 1961 Wire Act once again and create an online gaming ban. In the piece, the former senator compared online gaming to terrorism, citing an FBI online crime report from 2017 that listed victim counts for the entire gamut of online activity.
Lincoln tried to use the report to prove that online gambling is targeting the helpless. However, the report lists online gambling at the bottom and shows only 203 victims of online gambling related cybercrime. The number of cyber related crimes involving gambling was actually less than 50% of the number of those who were affected by charity-related cybercrimes.
This is the first effort in a while for those who are so strongly opposed to online gambling. The issues first became a real problem in 2011 when Sheldon Adelson, the Las Vegas Sands Mogul, who began to push for an overall federal ban.
Back in the day, Lincoln was actually one of close to 100 senators who pushed for the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act from 2006, which hurt the poker industry in the mid-2000s. By now, it seems that too much is invested for lawmakers to even consider an overall federal ban. The lottery, casino and poker games can all be found online, along with daily fantasy sports. Sports betting will soon be offered online and as more states become involved in all areas, it will become even harder to try and enforce such a ban.
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