Several federal lawmakers are working to legalize online poker in the United States. The industry is gaining support from more politicians, but some critics still favor prohibition. U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham recently introduced a new law that would ban online poker in the United States.

All forms of online gambling were deemed illegal before December 2011. The Justice Department has since changed its interpretation of the Wire Act, which has allowed states to regulate online gambling within their own borders. The new interpretation of the Wire Act also opens the door for federal lawmakers to pass their own online gambling bill.

The gambling industry has lobbying to legalize online gaming for years. A study from Academicon and PokerScout.com estimates that the market will be worth about $3.3 billion within ten years. Proponents of online gambling argue that the government could generate substantial revenues by taxing online gambling income.

On the other hand, many critics still feel that legalizing online gambling would be a bad idea. They are worried that many people with gambling addictions may not be able to resist the temptation. They are also concerned that gaming sites would be unable to deter minors from playing.

However, Graham didn’t reference any of those concerns when she introduced her bill. She stated that her home state of South Carolina doesn’t support gambling. The editors at Fits News criticized this argument, stating that the rest of the country shouldn’t be forced to adapt South Carolina’s views. Nevertheless, some lawmakers still share her views. The Senate is expected to vote on her bill in the coming weeks.

Bill Grinstead - Freelancer writer, news junkie and poker player. Contributor to PocketFives, USPoker.com, CaliforniaOnlinePoker.com and others.