Legislators Schedule Hearing on Internet Gambling

Lawmakers will tackle the complicated issue of Internet gambling during a two-hour hearing June 2 during a meeting of the National Council of Legislators from Gaming States in Boston.

NCLGS is currently lining up experts from the public and private sectors to testify on the pros and cons of Internet betting, as well as legal and regulatory concerns. Florida Sen. Steven Geller said individuals are welcome to discuss everything from recent World Trade Organization findings to the impact of Internet gambling on pari-mutuel wagering.

"NCLGS believes that Internet gaming is a states' rights issue, and states should ultimately have final say over its existence in the U.S.," Geller said in a statement. "NCLGS is holding the hearing in order to revisit its current position on Internet gaming, initially formed in the late 1990s, and to take into consideration recent relevant activity, including World Trade Organization findings, Department of Justice rules, state initiatives regarding the Internet, and new technology.

"NCLGS at present opposes Internet gaming on numerous grounds, among them that states cannot properly ensure a fair marketplace and protect their constituents against fraud, states have no mechanism to adequately allocate Internet gaming taxes, states should have the ability to decide what types of gambling is legal within their state and Internet gambling prevents states from doing so, and NCLGS is also concerned about underage and compulsive gambling on the Internet."

NCLGS usually meets at least twice a year at different locations around the country. While in Boston, legislators will discuss other things such as pari-mutuel wagering, lotteries, and Indian and commercial casino gaming.