The United States is beginning to shift towards a regulated online gambling market. Three states including New Jersey have already passed laws to legalize online gaming and several others are discussing plans to do the same. However, many groups are staunchly opposed to online gambling. Billionaire casino entrepreneur Sheldon Adelson has been lobbying to ban online poker. U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham has introduced a bill that would restore the authority of the Wire Act and effectively ban all forms of online gambling.

A recent poll found that the majority of Americans do not want the federal government placing a ban on online gambling. The new survey from the Coalition for Consumer and Online Protections found that three quarters of U.S. citizens feel the decision should be left to the states. The poll also found that nearly 60% of voters are against a federal ban.

The survey found that Democrats and Republicans had similar views. Approximately 74% of Republicans and 70% of democrats felt the federal government should allow the states to decide whether or not to legalize online gambling.

Alison Harden Siciliano, a spokeswoman for the coalition, said that an online gambling ban would be counterproductive. Siciliano said that millions of citizens are already gambling on unregulated online gambling sites. She said that banning online gambling would allow the black market to thrive. Siciliano argues that this would place many citizens at risk. Nearly two thirds of the respondents in the survey shared her concern.

Federal lawmakers have not begun discussing Graham’s bill. They may be more likely to oppose it after hearing the results of this poll.

Staff - Various members of the staff at contributed to this report.