It was a big week for Internet gambling legislation, BLUFFers. Let’s get to it.
The Delaware House Committee on Gaming and Parimutuels on Thursday released a bill that would permit the state’s racetrack casinos to operate Internet poker and casino games. For those of us that don’t live in Delaware and never intend to visit — sorry, First Staters! — some good news: The bill, HB333, permits the state to enter into cross-border Internet gambling compacts with other states.
Over in Illinois, Senate President John Cullerton, a Democrat, on Tuesday introduced legislation authorizing intrastate and interstate Internet gambling. (Score! I don’t have to visit the Prairie State, either!) A Senate committee hearing on Cullerton’s bill, HB4148, originally scheduled for Wednesday, was postponed. In a letter to legislative leaders, a bullish Cullerton said: “[T]he state could organize the first major poker pool, garner worldwide popularity, and position itself as a “hub” for multi-state and international iGaming.”
GamblingCompliance.com this week revealed that more states have considered Internet gambling legislation this year than any other in history. According to its report: “In 2012, two states have introduced legislation authorizing poker, six states have introduced legislation authorizing some combination of poker, casino gaming and lottery, and one state has enacted legislation expressly prohibiting Internet gambling.”
Speaking of states, MGM boss Jim Murren told delegates at last week’s Southern Gaming Summit in Mississippi that states will probably legalize Internet gambling before the federal government does. Murren said: “Internet gaming is here. It will be here this year. It won’t be here likely at a federal level because the federal government is doing what they’re best at: nothing at all.”
But at a meeting of the seldom-convened Nevada Gaming Policy Committee Monday, the chairman of the Nevada Gaming Control Board, Mark Lipparelli, warned that the absence of a federal framework for Internet gambling could encourage states to cut regulatory corners. “Without the support of federal legislation, the tendency will be [to pursue] a race to the bottom,” he said, adding that some states may attempt to adopt “the simplest possible regulation out of economic desperation.”
Once again, there was no change in the Capitol Hill Co-Sponsor Count. According to GovTrack.us, Texas Rep. Joe Barton’s Internet poker bill, HR2366, has 30 supporters, while California Rep. John Campbell’s Internet gambling bill, HR1174, remains close behind with 29.
Random quote of the week: “All we need to do is show a little class, a little sophistication, and we’re in like a dirty shirt.” – Lloyd, Dumb and Dumber (c. 1994)
Follow Chris Krafcik on Twitter: @CKrafcik
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