Pennsylvania State Senator Mike Folmer has written to U.S. Representative Charles Dent (R-PA) asking Rep. Dent withdraw his efforts to attach language banning online gaming to the Fiscal Year 2017 appropriations bill.
Here is the text of the letter
Congressman Dent_Online Gaming
August 17, 2017
Honorable Charles Dent
United States House of Representatives
2082 Rayburn Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
Dear Congressman Dent:
I wanted you to know of my concerns with efforts to attach language to the Fiscal Year 2017 Commerce, State, Justice Appropriations bill requiring the US Department of Justice to treat online gambling as a violation of the Wire Act. My fear is such an amendment would have a negative impact on Pennsylvania citizens.
As you know, the Pennsylvania General Assembly is currently deliberating the possible legalization of online gambling. While I have concerns with the implications of such as proposal, I believe this should be a state decision and not preempted by the federal government.
As a strong supporter of the 10th Amendment to the United States Constitution, I believe such public policy decisions are best decided by the states.
While I can appreciate the goal of making online gambling a national crime, I am concerned it would suffer the fate of all prohibition laws. As President Lincoln said: "Prohibition goes beyond the bounds of reason in that it attempts to control a man's appetite by legislation and makes a crime out of things that are not crimes. A prohibition law strikes a blow at the very principles upon which our government was founded."
As I do not believe making online gambling a federal crime would end online gambling, I hope you will abandon efforts to add language to the Fiscal 2017 Commerce, Justice, State Appropriations bill to make online gambling a federal crime.
Thank you for your consideration of my request.
/s/ Mike Folmer