NCSL Continues to Voice Opposition to Anti-Gambling Laws

August 28th, 2014 | by Kaycee James
50 US States

The NCSL is urging US iGaming regulators to consider state-by-state sovereignty. (Image:

The National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) is formally opposed to the federal legislation of online poker in the US if it adversely impacts on the state-by-state model that’s currently evolving. During a recent meeting in Minneapolis, representatives of the NCSL stated that it is against any proposed legislation that would undermine the sovereignty of each individual state.

An Independent State of Affairs

The announcement by the NCSL follows an official letter to Senators Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell, in which the organization outlined its opposition to the Restoration of America’s Wire Act. Describing the push to ban online gaming as a “wholesale prohibition” and merely a “solution seeking a problem”, the letter essentially calls for legislators to give states the right to choose their own destiny. Using New Jersey, Nevada and Delaware as examples of states that have successfully used their autonomy to create a secure iGaming economy, the NCSL explained to Reid and Mitch that each state should be allowed to make decisions that are “best suited to the desires of its residents”.

Intrastate Gaming is Legal

Another legal peg the NCSL is hanging its hat on is the fact that intrastate gambling isn’t illegal. During the Minneapolis conference, the organization’s representatives outlined that the Department of Justice (DoJ)’s 2011 review of the Wire Act found that there were no legal impediments to state-controlled iGaming.

Piecing all these facets together, the NCSL now wants federal legislators to take note of each state’s desires when ruling for or against nationwide iGaming regulation. Although the NCSL isn’t solely interested in the regulation of online poker in the US, the political collective is anxious to maintain the semi-autonomous nature of the United States and give each state the right to decide its own fate.

Supporters of US iGaming

Aside from the NCSL showing its support for online poker in the US, a number of other organizations are also joining the fight for iGaming regulation, including: the Poker Players Alliance, American Gaming Association, Coalition for Consumer Online Protection and the Fraternal Order of Police.

Additionally, the Democratic Governors Association (DGA) has formally come out in support of online gaming with a letter addressed to Congress back in March. Made up of eleven Governors, including representatives from New York, California and Delaware, the group has a lot of political sway and is currently one of the industry’s most influential supporters.

Completing online poker’s slew of supporters is the North American Association of State and Provincial Lotteries (NASPL). Echoing a similar argument to the NCSL, the NASPL directed an official letter to Lindsey Graham, the senator who introduced the “Restore America’s Wire Act” bill. Pointing to the 10th Amendment, the NASPL stated that “all gaming should be left up to the individual states”. Moreover, the “manner in which [the games] are being delivered” should remain the preference of state legislators.


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