US Republicans Officially Declare a War on Internet Gambling

Soon enough, US gamblers may say a final goodbye to Internet casino games in their country. The reason is President Barack Obama administration’s legislation legalizing virtual gambling has come under attack from a by two Republican senators sponsoring a bill to void the legislation. The question is, how much of a concern is this going to be for the millions of Internet gamblers in the US?

Generally speaking, Internet gambling didn’t have any legal status in the US before the year 2011 when the Justice Department officially deemed in-state Internet gambling providers lawful and granted them a permission to offer services to customers. Online sportsbooks still continued to be in state disfavor.

In June 2015, senators Marco Rubio and Lindsey Graham of the Republican party (representing the states of Florida and South Carolina respectively), both presidential candidates for the 2016 election, introduced a draft legislation aimed at putting Internet casino portals in the United Stated under a complete ban. In fact, their proposal seeks to strengthen the Federal Wire Act of 1961 to put a stop of most online gambling.

As noted by Senator Rubio, who’s also co-sponsoring this draft legislation, “expanded gambling” is largely challenging in the sense it’s harder to “enforce […] safeguards to protect people from fraud and addiction” when people gamble online. Rubio believes what the Justice Department did in 2011 was to intentionally misinterpret the existing law to achieve its own goals while denying Congress its constitutional right to weigh in on the matter. According to Rubio, strengthening the 1961 and illegalizing online gambling returns the matter to Congress where it can be publically debated.

Whether or not Rubio is right that the Justice Department overstepped its bounds, there is no question that many large donors to the Republican Party are involved in casinos, and the profits of those casinos would be threatened if people could easily gamble from the comfort of their own homes.

At the moment, Internet casinos are allowed to operate legally in 3 states only: New Jersey, Nevada, and Delaware. Unfortunately, an online gaming site located in one of these states will also be able to be access by people in the remaining 47 states. The nature of the Internet makes it challenging for state law enforcement officials to do anything about these sites. If this new law is passed, though, the sites would need to shut down and there will be no more gambling online for Americans. They won’t even be able to buy state lottery tickets, a major revenue stream for many states.

How can Bitcoin help?
Even under the new law, Bitcoin casino gaming may be a way for people to still enjoy their favorite games of chance without falling afoul of the law. Further, gambling with Bitcoins is cheaper, in that gamers won’t be paying credit card fees, more convenient, in that they are instantaneous, and nearly anonymous, since the banks and credit card companies won’t be able to track your payments. Whether or not this bill gets passed, if you are a gambler, Bitcoin casinos offer advantages that traditional casino or site can offer. Decentralized, anonymous gaming is here today. Give it a try.


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