Online Poker Ban Coming? AG Jeff Sessions Considers It

jeff-sessions-online-pokerAmerican online poker players’ options have dwindled since Black Friday. And US Attorney General Jeff Sessions would like to close the door on any options through a federal internet gaming ban.

Rumors have been swirling on the subject within the last month, when it was revealed that Sessions wants to reverse the Department of Justice’s opinion on iGaming. In 2011, the US DoJ stated that the 1961 Wire Act only applies to sports betting – not other forms of internet gaming.

Here’s a look at Sessions official statement on the matter:

“Apparently, there is some justification or argument that can be made to support the Department of Justice’s [2011] position, but I did oppose it when it happened and it seemed to me to be unusual. I would revisit it and I will make a decision on it based on careful study. I haven’t gone that far to give you an opinion today.”

Popular speculation is that Las Vegas Sands Chairman Sheldon Adelson may once again be pulling the strings behind this matter. Adelson has been donating millions of dollars to Republican candidates, including $20 million to Donald Trump’s campaign.

The 83-year-old billionaire is adamant about banning internet gaming, claiming that it will cause more gambling addiction and attract underage players.

However, a recent Forbes article points out that the National Governors Association is angry upon hearing about Sessions’ stance on online gaming. Here’s one excerpt from the letter:

“As you review this issue, we encourage you to take note of the current regulatory mechanisms put in place by the states to ensure that consumers and children are protected, and that licensees comply with strict standards of conduct. States are best equipped to regulate and enforce online gaming. A ban drives this activity offshore to unregulated jurisdictions, out of the reach of state and federal law enforcement and with risk to consumers.”

As you can see, states are concerned about their rights in this matter. And considering that New Jersey, Nevada, and Delaware already offer online gaming – with several states also featuring legal daily fantasy sports – it’s hard to see Sessions reversing the DoJ’s opinion and banning internet gaming.

Nevertheless, this is cause for concern when looking at Session’s powerful position.

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