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Libertarian Groups Raise Concerns With Online Gambling Bans

May 24th, 2014 by Site Admin

Rep. Jason Chaffetz and  Sen. Lindsey Graham have introduced two bills that would restore the Wire Act and ban online gambling throughout the United States. Many groups have spoken out against the proposed bills. Several libertarian groups have recently joined the discussion and urged Congress to vote against the proposals.

A coalition of ten of the largest libertarian organizations in the country sent a letter to Congress earlier this week. The groups that signed the bill included the Institute for Policy Innovation, The Institute for Liberty, the Competitive Enterprise Institute and the Taxpayer Protection Alliance. The groups unanimously agreed that the federal government’s motion to ban online gambling was overstepping its authority and infringed on the rights of American citizens and business owners.

The letter stated that previous bans failed to deter American citizens from gambling over the Internet. They said that prohibition has allowed the black market to thrive.

Neither Chaffetz nor Graham have taken a formal position on online gambling. They said that they merely feel that the decision to legalize online gambling should be left to Congress, rather than the discretion of the Justice Department. However, the libertarians that signed the bill feared that the restoration of the Wire Act would make it far more difficult to legalize online gambling in the future. They fear that it would create extra legal hurdles for lawmakers to overcome and possibly bias them against legalizing online gambling.

The groups hope that the House and Senate Judiciary Committees will review the letter and consider it in their decision. Congress has not scheduled a vote for the proposed legislation.

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