Mark Warner Amps Up Efforts to see Online Gambling Banned in the US

by Jim Hall

Senator Mark Warner is ramping up efforts to see online gambling banned across the United States by urging the US Attorney General to take action.

It has been some time since we have seen a strong effort to ban online gambling on a federal level. Since 2013, states have had the ability to create legislation to legalize and regulate online casino and poker gaming if they so choose. Only Delaware, New Jersey and Nevada have successfully passed legislation. In that time, efforts have been made to see online gambling banned on a federal level. Such individuals as Sheldon Adelson, the CEO of the Las Vegas Sands, have tried to see legislation changes made in order to such gaming options to be null and void. Now, it seems a lawmaker in the Senate is trying to revive such efforts.

Senator Makes a Move

Mark WarnerSeveral politicians have shown support and are opposed to the 2011 change by the Department of Justice to reinterpret the Wire Act of 1961 in order to allow states to choose whether or not if they would legalize online gambling within their borders. According to The Hill, Senator Mark Warner sent a letter on July 5th to US Attorney General Jeff Sessions in order to see the ruling changed back to its original state.

Warner stated that websites that offer online gambling are fertile platforms for collusion, money laundering and other illicit activities. The Senator further stated that online gambling services are a serious threat to vulnerable members of society because of their potentially predatory nature.

The statements by Warner are pretty far-fetched especially by using the term danger and including money laundering. It seems that Warner is not as informed as he should be when he discusses online gambling in the letter. Jeff Sessions has actually recused himself from the issue of iGambling just before Warner sent the letter. This was done due to his connection to the Russia investigation involving the United States Presidential election and his hiring of Charles Cooper, an attorney. Cooper has ties to Sheldon Adelson and his group Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling.

False Information Continues

Warner is just one of many elected officials who continue to talk about the ‘dangers’ of online gambling but are inaccurately portraying the activity. Information on the subject, including illegal offshore online gambling sites and other info are often misconstrued. Warner talked about FBI findings as to why he was concerned but he is citing information that other people have changed based on FBI info.

In regards to money laundering concerns, there are many regulations in place that can be used to deflect any myths involving such issues. All large transactions involving casino gambling have to be reported based on the Bank Secrecy Act. Deposits as well as withdrawals are tracked and every bet and wager made by a player is to be tracked as well.

Players have to register fully by providing personal information such as social security number which helps to track each transaction. Hard limits on deposits also make it virtually impossible for players to move money around in large amounts. Player to player transfers are also not allowed in regulated markets within the United States. Black market sites do allow players to transfer money back and forth.

Overall, the information that opponents try to pass off as fact is a bit construed. States that offer such gaming options have been quite successful and have seen no instances of money laundering or illegal activity. It will be interesting to see what the response will be by proponents and if any other opponents will jump on the band wagon to try and push for changes involving online gambling in the US.