Legalization of Online Gambling in US to be pushed by Newly Formed Trade Group

Legalization of Online Gambling in US to be pushed by Newly Formed Trade Group

03/6/2011

A new trade industry association has been formed by companies that support or are directly involved in online gambling in the face of fading chances of Congress approving a federal Internet gambling bill.

With the purpose of advocating for the legalization and regulation of online gambling in America, the US Online Gaming Association has tapped Melanie Brenner to head the group. Ms. Brenner, a former Poker Voters of America executive director, will serve as the newly formed association’s president and executive director.

Brenner said, “We have begun building the support we need to be a solid voice for the industry in the United States.”

She said that the inability of the industry to make a unified stand in the past was among the reasons why an Internet poker bill, which was backed by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada, failed to move forward in the US Senate last year.

Before the Republicans took control of the House of Representatives, Reid has sought to pass the Internet Poker Act of 2010. The legalization of online poker, as well as other forms of gambling, has been opposed by Republicans on the grounds of financial and moral reasons.

Brenner said that the US online gambling market will eventually be opened. In New Jersey, a bill that seeks to legalize online gambling has been passed earlier this month by the Assembly and is now waiting for the signature of the governor.

If the bill is signed into law by the Republican governor, then the state of New Jersey would be the first to legalize online gambling.

WRITTEN BY:

blakeh@wellsdrew.com