A couple of weeks ago we published an opinion that a Donald Trump presidency may not impact online gambling.
One person we neglected to consider in our analysis is the future Vice President Mike Pence.
Pence has been an opponent to online gambling for many years and some feel he could be a catalyst for a federal online gambling ban.
This assumption was reinforced on Friday when the Poker Players Alliance broke the news that 10 state attorney generals have sent a letter to Vice President-elect Mike Pence asking him to restore the Federal Wire Act to its interpretation pre-December 2011.
AG's Seek a Federal Ban on Online Gambling
In a letter dated November 17, 2016, 10 state Attorneys General sent a letter to VP-elect Mike Pence asking him to restore the Federal Wire Act of 1961. The letter is signed by the following state AGs:
- Jeff Landry - Louisiana
- Bill Schuette - Michigan
- Douglas J. Peterson - Nebraska
- Adam Paul Laxalt - Nevada
- Wayne Stenehjem - North Dakota
- E. Scott Pruitt - Oklahoma
- Alan Wilson - South Carolina
- Marty J. Jackley - South Dakota
- Ken Paxton - Texas
- Sean Reyes - Utah
One interesting name on this list is Nevada AG Adam Laxalt. Nevada is one of three U.S. states that has regulated online poker and was the first state to go online with regulated online poker in 2013.
The letter claims that the December 2011 DOJ memo "opened the door to expansive Internet gambling and exposed states to the significant negative impacts that often accompany online gambling.
The letter quoted a Connecticut study that claims that 20.5% of adolescent gamblers reportedly gamble online. They also said that the Columbia University Medical Center estimates that up to half of those in the United States with gambling addictions are teenagers.
As is the norm with these types of letters this one is filled with the typical scare tactics that claim online gambling will lead to divorce, crime, child abuse, domestic violence and even suicide.
Will Pence Help Lead a Charge Against Online Gambling?
The question now is whether VP-elect Pence will make a move against online gambling or whether this letter will be like many others in the past.
Past versions of this letter have largely gone unanswered and have just drawn criticism and ridicule from the online gambling community.
However, with Pence's past and his conservative views, this could be an issue that he attempts to tackle as a way to build his own legacy for a post-Trump America.
Regardless of what happens Pence is a man that the online gambling world will need to keep an eye on as he could be Sheldon Adelson's path to an online gambling ban in the United States.