Sports gambling
Online betting is one of the Internet’s fastest growing sectors. As of last year, there were at least 250 casinos, 64 lotteries, 20 bingo games and 139 sports books operating online. Our 1961 Wire Act forbids betting on sports but it doesn’t explicitly prohibit other types of gaming. However, our federal government has consistently interpreted this law to prohibit all types of online gambling. Until recently, all online casinos were located in foreign lands. Placing bets with these casinos was mostly done with credit cards, debit cards and wire transfers. To stop Internet gambling, Congress passed laws that restricted the processing of these types of payments. However, these laws have not deterred millions of Americans from continuing to place bets on overseas websites. It is estimated that Americans annually account for about $45 billion, or nearly 10%, of all online gambling revenue worldwide. Some states, including Louisiana, specifically prohibit Internet gambling. Critics say online gambling sites flout local laws, entice children to gamble, and tempt adults who may be struggling with gambling addiction. They also claim these unregulated Internet casinos do not guarantee payouts to bettors and can serve as covers for money laundering operations. With prospects for new tax revenue in mind, several states including New Jersey, Nevada and Delaware have legalized online gambling. Other states are soon expected to follow. Gambling industry supporters say that, in light of new state laws, our government would be better off regulating and taxing this industry rather than suppressing it.

Pending Legislation:
H.R.416 - Sports Gaming Opportunity Act of 2015
H.R.707 - Restoration of America's Wire Act

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Poll Opening Date
March 26, 2020
Poll Closing Date
April 1, 2020

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