On Monday, the leaders of 10 conservative organizations sent a letter to Congress outlining their opposition to proposed legislation to extend a federal ban on internet gambling. The letter, obtained by Breitbart News, argues that the legislation would overturn laws in several states and increase federal regulation of the Internet.
The proposed legislation, the Restoration of America’s Wire Act, would restore a ban on online gambling that originally passed Congress in 2006. In 2011, the Department of Justice relaxed its rules interpreting that law, allowing states like Delaware, Nevada and New Jersey to legalize and regulate some forms of internet gaming. Several other states are considering legislation to allow on-line poker.
The new federal legislation, which has prominent backing from gaming magnate Sheldon Adelson, would preempt these laws and ban all forms of online gaming. Today’s letter in opposition argues,
[T]his bill allows the federal government to take a heavy hand in regulating the Internet, opening the door for increased Internet regulation in the future. By banning a select form of Internet commerce, the federal government is setting a troubling precedent and providing fodder to those who would like to see increased Internet regulation in the future.
[It]also creates carve-outs that exempt certain special interests from the federal government’s reach. This amounts to the federal government picking winners and losers – choosing select industries or private-sector businesses to succeed at the expense of others, which is at odds with free-market competition.