Adelson-Backed Group Fails to Secure Support From State Attorneys General For Online Gambling Ban

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An effort by the Sheldon Adelson-backed Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling (CSIG) to secure support from state attorneys general for a federal ban on regulated Internet gambling has stumbled short of its goal.

According to a report from, only 15 state attorneys general, along with the attorney general from Guam, signed the letter circulated by CSIG calling for an update to the Wire Act to prohibit state-regulated online poker and gambling.

Signatures fall well short of critical threshold

In order to qualify as a statement of policy by the National Association of Attorneys General (NAGA), the letter would have needed to attract 36 signatures – more than double the amount secured by CSIG’s campaign.

And the level of support is dramatically less than that accomplished by past attempts, a point not lost on the PPA’s John Pappas.

“We would have liked to have seen none sign the letter, but 15 is far less than more than 40 who signed the letter in 2007,” Pappas told GamblingCompliance.

The letter was signed by AGs in Arizona, Florida, Hawaii, Kansas, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Wisconsin and Wyoming, along with Guam.

Of the group, 13 are Republicans and three are Democrats.

States’ rights issue may have siphoned support

What accounts for the plummeting levels of support for such initiatives among state attorneys general?

One explanation is the high-profile launches of regulated online gambling in New Jersey, Nevada and Delaware in 2013.

The Adelson-backed proposal to update the Wire Act would effectively roll back those industries, along with online lotteries.

Reconciling that level of federal intervention into a state-based industry with the full-throated support of states’ rights that is the official position of NAGA may have simply been too severe of a logical contortion for the overwhelming majority of state attorneys general.

This article utilizes content, with permission, from, a leading provider of independent business intelligence to the global gambling industry. Visit GamblingCompliance here.

- Chris is the publisher of Grove also serves as a consultant to various stakeholders in the regulated market for online gambling in the United States.
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