Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling advocate and former U.S. Senator Blanche Lincoln released the following statement in strong support of the Department of Justice’s reversal of the 2011 OLC Wire Act opinion:
“CSIG is pleased to see today’s decision by the Department of Justice to reverse an Office of Legal Counsel opinion that was as problematic legally as it was morally.
“Today’s decision seamlessly aligns with the Department’s longstanding position that federal law prohibits all forms of internet gambling, as well as with Congress’s intent when it gave law enforcement additional tools to shut down the activity through the overwhelmingly-passed Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act in 2006.
“Countries around the world offer a perilous preview of where our nation was headed absent today’s action from the federal government. In the UK – which is the epicenter of the epidemic as ‘the world’s largest regulated online gambling market‘ – ‘over half of 16-year-olds have gambling apps on their smartphones.’ Further, the iGaming industry obtains more than half of its profit from problem gamblers. Children’s social media feeds are being ‘bombarded‘ with online gambling ads and vulnerable problem gamblers are being baited back with aggressive promotional offers. Meanwhile, following the fateful OLC decision, licensed operators began emulating their overseas counterparts in the worst possible way here in the United States. For instance, earlier this year, ads for internet casinos were spotted on websites for kids and online resources for problem gamblers seeking help.
“Today’s landmark action to rightfully restore the Wire Act is a win for parents, children and other vulnerable populations.”
Blanche Lincoln, a former U.S. senator from Arkansas, is the founder of Lincoln Policy Group and works as a leading advocate for the Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling