States’ Rights Hinders Online Casino Act
By staff
In America, the Attorney General for the State of Maryland, Douglas Gansler, has penned a letter together with Florida’s Attorney General Bill McCollum to Congressman Barney Frank expressing grave concerns about the Internet Gambling Regulation and Enforcement Act (IGREA).

Officially known as House of Representatives Bill 2046, Frank’s IGREA would replace state regulations on Internet gambling with a Federal licensing program and permit online gambling companies doing business with US customers.

In the letter, also sent to Congressman Spencer Bachus, the Ranking Member of the the House Committee On Financial Services, the two top law enforcement officials in their states said that IGREA would undermine States’ traditional powers to make and enforce their own gambling laws.

“IGREA would throw open the doors of the United States and allow for the greatest expansion of legalized gambling in American history,” said Gansler.

“This attempt to divest the States of their gambling enforcement power is sweeping and unprecedented. We oppose this proposal and any other proposal that hinders the rights of States to prohibit or regulate gambling by their residents.”

Under IGREA, the Department of Treasury alone would be responsible for authorising and regulating Federal licenses, marking the first time in history that the Federal government would be responsible for issuing gambling licenses.

Attorneys Generals from 49 of America’s 50 states wrote to the leadership of Congress in March of 2006 urging the passage of the Unlawful Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA). With its passage that October, the authority to set overall gambling regulations and policy remained with the state, a move that halted online gambling companies skirting local gambling regulations.

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