Last week the National Governors Association sent Attorney General Jeff Sessions a letter regarding the regulation of online poker and internet gambling in the United States.
The letter urges dialogue and cooperation between state and federal governments on the matter to protect citizens of every state.
Virginia Governor and NGA Chair Terry McAuliffe and Nevada Governor and Vice Chair Brian Sandoval signed the letter.
Proactive Move Based on Confirmation Hearing
In the event you didn't follow the confirmation hearing of AG Sessions, he made a statement that has been widely publicized by online gambling advocates around the nation.
He told Congress, “I did oppose [the DOJ opinion from 2011] when it happened, and it seemed to me to be unusual. I would revisit it or make a decision about it based on careful study.”
This brief statement instantly sent advocates scrambling and some worried that this would be the beginning of the end for U.S. iGaming similar to that in Australia.
However, nothing has materialized to this point, so it well may have just been a talking point to get through the hearing.
Regardless, this letter looks to be a proactive move by the NGA in the event Sessions does intend to keep his promise.
States Best Equipped to Handle iGaming Regulation
Addressing a potential ban of iGaming on the federal level, the NGA stated, "regulation of gaming has historically been addressed by the states."
Continuing further, the letter encouraged Sessions to "take note of the current regulatory mechanisms put in place by the states to ensure that consumers and children are protected, and that licensees comply with strict standards of conduct. States are best equipped to regulate and enforce online gaming."
All AG Sessions needs to do is look at iGaming in Nevada, Delaware and especially New Jersey to see the impacts of regulation and the mechanisms in place.
Finally, the letter warns that a ban "drives this activity offshore to unregulated jurisdictions, out of the reach of state and federal law enforcement and with risk to consumers."
In closing, the letter stated that the "nation's governors stand ready to discuss the issue" should Sessions decide to do so.
This isn't the first time the NGA has reached out regarding iGaming regulation. Back in 2014, they sent a letter to members of Congress in opposition to RAWA. They also battled against Rep. Jason Chaffetz in 2015 over the matter.
It's unknown whether this letter will have any impact on the matter, but it is good to know that the NGA has online poker's back should Sessions try to enact some form of iGaming ban.