Protecting the Vulnerable from Predatory Gambling
Today, Catholic Advocate joined with other leading grassroots organizations 60 Plus Association and American Majority Action to address the impending crisis of an on-line gambling explosion set to begin in 2013 as a result of a 2011 Obama Administration Department of Justice ruling that opens the door to all forms of on-line gambling.
The letter [text below and original copy here] was sent to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Speaker of the House John Boehner, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, and House Democrat Leader Nancy Pelosi urging them to act to restrict on-line gambling during the “Lame Duck” session of Congress.
The groups have also joined together to educate Capitol Hill and others about the seriousness of the issue with a special website located at http://restrictonlinegambling.org/.
Tuesday, December 4, 2012 Letter to Congressional Leadership
A year ago December 23, the Department of Justice issued a weight of law ruling against the Wire Act of 1961 opening the floodgates for states and other entities to pursue unregulated on-line gambling. This unilateral Executive Branch decision by Attorney General Holder violates the clear intent of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act passed by Congress in 2006 and historical bi-partisan interpretation of the Wire Act.
We recognize Congress did not create this problem. Congress, though, does have the power to protect our seniors, our children, and give law enforcement the tools they need to protect the vulnerable from illegal predatory gambling interests. We urge congressional action before the end of this year to restrict the imminent expansion of on-line gambling throughout states, lotteries, and off-shore operators as early as this coming January.
Several states have either passed on-line gambling statutes or are in the process of passing them quickly when many return to work in capitals across the country to take advantage of the Department of Justice ruling. Often, Congress is put in situations where issues that are already problems require solutions. Here is an opportunity to address an impending matter before it becomes a crisis.
Federal restriction of on-line gambling is vital, urgent, and consistent with recent congressional intent. The legislation proposed by Senator Kyl and Senator Reid is a sensible solution and with the divided Congress, it is the only legislative solution that could pass both chambers. It will restore the Wire Act and on-line gambling in the U.S. will be substantially reduced from what is going on today and the race by states to expand internet gambling will be stopped. We hope a bi-partisan group of Members can join together before the end of this year to pass this legislation that addresses our concerns.
Jim Martin, Chairman
60 Plus Association
Ned Ryun, President
American Majority Action