Cannon Criticizes Online Casino Bill
Online casino operators gained an unlikely ally last week when Republican Senator Chris Cannon added his voice to the debate on Bob Goodlatte’s controversial online casinos bill. Cannon has spoken out against the bill, stating that while he opposes the online casino industry from gaining legalization in the U.S., he fears that Goodlatte’s bill leaves the door wide open to legalize other forms of gambling. The Utah Senator has also expressed concerns that the state may get bombarded with advertising from online casinos firms if other forms of gambling become legal. Currently Utah and Hawaii are the only states that outlaw all forms of gambling.
Senator Bob Goodlatte has said in response that talk of his bill giving special treatment to horse betting and other gambling enterprises is nonsense. Goodlatte pointed out that horse racing is already regulated by another federal law, and will be unaffected by the online casinos bill. The Senator went on to say that online casinos legislation has been debated for the last five years in the U.S. Senate. Over that period internet gambling has grown to be a $12 billion dollar industry with over 2,300 sites currently on the internet.
While both Cannon and Goodlatte are known supporters of the anti-gambling lobby, their approach over the years toward the online casino has varied. Cannon has led several recent attempts to remove references to horse racing from Goodlatte’s bill but has failed to do so, giving rise to comments that his stance will cost the online casinos bill the support it needs to pass.