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US States Challenge the Federal Internet Gambling Ban


14 Mar 2019

The US gambling laws have been a little up in the air lately. While state by state, the US has been regulating online gambling, in January the Department of Justice issued a warning, stating that gambling in the US is still illegal. However, now individual states are challenging the opinion and the legality of it.

Trump Donor

The most concerning aspect of the Department of Justice announcement is that it seems to be in service of a single casino owner, and that casino owner is also a major donor to the president. Sheldon Adelson, owner of the Las Vegas Sands Cop, and a republican mega-donor vowed in 2013 to spend ‘Whatever it takes’ to stop online gambling, campaigning for a federal ban.

The original ruling making US gambling illegal came after decades of illegal gambling, but left the door open for individual states to create their own laws, regulating activity within their own borders. Since then the US gambling industry has flourished and states have benefited from the taxes raised.

The Fight Back

In what has been a cloud of confusion, major questions have been asked about the new DOJ opinion, especially about why the Department revisited the issue when no new laws have been drafted.

But now the fightback has begun. New Hampshire Lottery Commission has filed a lawsuit against the DOJ in federal court, forcing the DOJ to push compliance with the new opinion. This has put the issue into a state of limbo, but unless other states continue the fightback, it could be a while before this period of limbo is over.

What’s for sure, and something that has been evident in clips from Congress lately is that lobbyists have far too much control within US government, leading critics to wonder who is controlling who!