Survey Finds U.S. Voters Favor States Deciding iGaming Issue

Posted on February 21st, 2014 by Todd Wilkins

American Poker LawsA recent survey discovered that nearly 75% of Americans believe that individual states should be allowed to regulate online gambling if they so choose.

The DoJ’s 2011 ruling that redefined the 1961 Wire Act allows states to do exactly that. Three have already enacted Internet gambling legislation, with almost a dozen more such as California, Illinois and Louisiana reportedly considering following suit.

However, groups such as Las Vegas Sands CEO Sheldon Adelson’s Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling (CSIG) are aiming to put an end to the legalization of online wagering. Adelson has called for a ban on online gambling and is behind the proposal of an Internet Gambling Control Act whose aim is centered around overturning the DoJ ruling of more than two years ago that paved the way for states to offer online gambling.

That prompted the gambling proponent organization known as the Coalition for Consumer and Online Protections (C4COP) that’s backed by the American Gaming Association and Poker Players Alliance to fight back. The C4COP ordered the recent poll to determine where the American public actually stands on the issue.

The survey was taken in late January by Republican polling company North Star Opinion, with C4COP pointing out that its organization has both Democratic and Republican support. Interviews of 1,000 registered voters were held throughout the country, including a few dozen from the regulated states of Nevada, Delaware and New Jersey.

Results of the survey show that 57% of voters are against a federal law that would ban online gambling. This counters a poll that Adelson supported previously that supposedly found a large majority of Americans in favor of wiping out Internet gambling.

The American public doesn’t want Congress to pass a sweeping ban of all online gaming, C4COP spokeswoman Alison Harden Siciliano told The Hill. A nationwide ban would put more Americans at risk online, and allow the current overseas, black market gambling operations to thrive.

CSIG and C4COP are now embarking on an all-out war on the online gambling issue. The debate is gaining greater attention and will likely cause federal lawmakers to take action at some point.

In the meantime, a new regulated online poker site soft-launched recently in Nevada. Several state legislatures will look into possible online gambling legislation in 2014. A state-by-state model of Internet gambling is obviously gaining traction. Odds are rather good that it continues to pick up steam and keeps on rolling.

There will always be a certain segment of the population opposed to gambling. The recent survey found 22% expressed strong support of federal lawmakers stepping in and banning online gambling. But that’s definitely a minority and if lawmakers actually listen to what the public wants, it’s likely they will realize that most support that individual states and Americans within those states should have the right to choose whether or not to legally play poker and gamble online.

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