The Feds should leave online gambling to the states

Joey Bradford, campaign consultant and former staffer for Rand Paul and Gary Johnson, has penned an op-ed at the Foundation for Economic Education explaining why a federal ban on online gambling is both dangerous to liberty and unconstitutional:

Say what you will about the claims of Internet gambling opponents, the state level is the proper forum for this discussion. States must decide whether to have Internet gambling. There is no reason for the federal government to dictate state gambling policy. If New Jersey and Pennsylvania want Internet gambling, so be it. If Utah and Hawaii, two states that don't allow any gambling, never legalize it, that is fine too. This is how federalism works.

Unfortunately, a federal threat to these state laws still looms strong. Despite pledging fidelity to the Constitution, retiring Rep. Charlie Dent (R-PA) and his fellow Keystone State colleague, Rep. Michael Fitzpatrick (R-PA) are trying to dictate gambling policy for their home state and 49 others. Mr. Dent wants to enact legislation overturning state laws, while Mr. Fitzpatrick is pushing for the DOJ to reverse half a decade’s progress in one fell swoop.

As Dent explores ways to attach an amendment to the budget that would impose a federal ban on online gambling, Fitzpatrick is busy trying to convince the Department of Justice to again outlaw the practice on its own. Meanwhile, Sheldon Adelson hired a lobbyist to move DOJ decision-makers, all while he likely continues to push Congress to resurrect his anti-online gambling legislation that would circumvent the Tenth Amendment.

Read the entire op-ed here.

As Congress works on the end-of-year spending bill there may yet be an attempt to shove a ban on online gaming into the bill. Campaign for Liberty members should call their representatives and senators and tell them to oppose any attempts to attach a ban on online gaming to the end-of-year spending bill.

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