Prominent Lottery Official Opposes Graham’s Wire Act Amendment Proposal

Posted on April 4th, 2014 by Robert DellaFave

NASPLDavid Gale writes to Lindsey Graham, offering his position on the newly submitted anti-online gambling bill.

Senator Lindsey Graham, facilitator of Sheldon Adelson’s Coalition of Stop Internet Gambling (CSIG), received a strongly worded letter from the Executive Director of the North American Association of State and Provincial Lotteries (NASPL), opposing his recently introduced anti-iGaming bill.

In it, David Gale iterates his position and that of his committee, firmly asserting that states should be given the right to determine the games that are offered, as well as the manner in which they are being delivered to their customers.

Graham’s bill, which is supplemented by a similar bill in the House, seeks more than to merely prevent states from instituting their own online poker laws. Should it pass, the Wire Act would be amended – again, this time to include every form of Internet gambling save pari-mutuel wagering and fantasy sports betting. That means all online lottery ticket sales, which currently constitute a sizable (and growing) portion of total lottery revenue, would be outlawed.

Ironically, the first amendment of the Wire Act in 2011 was spurred by an inquiry pertaining to online lottery ticket sales. It’s for this reason, among others, that few give Graham’s bill much of a chance.

Gale’s letter was published by the Coalition for Consumer and Online Protection (C4COP), an organization set up to counteract the CSIG’s anti-gambling campaign.

Illinois Expresses Opposition to Sheldon Adelson’s Anti-iGaming Position

States that currently allow online lottery sales, such as Illinois, have also lashed out against Adelson, indicating that his argument that online age verification methods are less efficient than those conducted at brick and mortar casinos is invalid.

According to a recent press release issued by the Illinois Lottery, Michael Jones asserts that age and geolocation technology is working as designed. In this reporter’s opinion, online verification has reached the point where it’s even more effective than those enforced by land-based casinos, if only because online gaming operators have access to sensitive user data that b&m casinos do not.

But that hasn’t stopped Adelson, who as part of his campaign recently launched an egregious propagandistic video depicting children gambling online. Adelson’s ignorance in the age verification debate has been reiterated by several pro-gambling factions, with the NASPL and Illinois lottery being the latest.

However, given that the NASPL represents a legion of North American lotteries, which together grossed $83.3 billion in sales last year; it would appear that its statements would carry more weight than most. More so when you factor in the $23 billion its lotteries have supplied to government.

Could Graham’s Bill Backfire?

If anything, Graham’s bill has ignited a flame deep in the bellies of pro-iGaming proponents, so much so, that it might have the opposite of its intended effect by propelling more state governments to make a legislative push towards regulated Internet gambling.

Just look at what’s happening in New York. Would have Senator Bonacic pushed a bill that even in his estimation had little chance of passage if Graham hadn’t introduced an anti-online gambling bill first?’s a good question.

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