States Oppose Reid’s Online Gaming Bill

By Kalen S on March 17, 2012 05:51 pm

According to a new report from The Hill, many state government officials may want to oppose Harry Reid’s bill The Internet Gambling Prohibition, Poker Consumer Protection and Strengthening UIGEA Act of 2012. Many governors and state representatives throughout the country are working on legislation that would allow them to offer a number of forms of online gaming. Reid’s bill would force them to abandon the opportunity to create technology jobs and generate new revenues for their states.

Additionally, many officials are concerned about how the bill will affect their existing lotteries. State lotteries collectively raised more than $20 billion last year. This money was used to support education, local parks and a number of other policies. State lawmakers are concerned that Reid’s bill will place their money in jeopardy.

James Ward is a member of the National Committee of State Legislatures. Ward said that many members of his committee are not happy with Reid’s bill. Ward said that it isn’t clear why the federal government needs to involve itself with intrastate online gaming laws. He said it always makes states a little uneasy and isn’t usually worthwhile in the long run.

Kristen Orthman is public relations representative for Sen. Reid. Orthman said that Reid and his colleagues in Congress understand the concerns of state officials. They are open to discussing the bill with them and writing a new draft that would work to everyone’s benefits.

Officials from state lotteries are expected to voice their concerns with Congress as well. Reid and his colleagues are expected to take their opinions seriously, because states rely on the money they generate to run many of their programs.