Bill for Online Poker Could Hurt State Lotteries

03/16/2012
By Pamela PattersonGoogle

Republican Representative Joe Barton from Texas introduced a bill last year called the Internet Gambling Prohibition, Poker Consumer Protection, and Strengthening UIGEA Act of 2011.  State governors from around the country are now expressing their opposition to the bill saying that it will hurt the revenue stream of state lotteries.  This would not only hurt the states’ budgets but it would also be a serious blow to the lottery-funded scholarships. 

 

In Tennessee, the HOPE Scholarship is funded by the state lottery.  Shirley Raines, the President of the University of Memphis explains that many students from socioeconomic backgrounds that normally could not afford university tuition are able to attend U of M thanks to these lottery funded scholarships.  She fears that online gambling will cause a decline in state lottery revenues and dry up the funding for the scholarships. 

 

Steven Cohen, representing Tennessee’s 9th district in the House, disagrees with Raines’s assumption that online casino games would affect lottery revenues.  Having cosponsored the bill with Representative Barton, Cohen explains that lotteries and online casinos cater to different crowds.  He said that if online gambling were to be legalized, he hopes that the Tennessee General Assembly use some of the tax revenue toward the scholarship fund.

 

Barton’s bill is unique in that it does not legalize online gambling on a nationwide level; rather, it enables states to legalize and regulate online gambling locally.  It facilitates the creation of usa online casinos on the state level.  online casino reviews are excited about Barton’s bill.  Some say it is the perfect answer to the 2006 UIGE Act, because it does not contradict or erase the original act – it clarifies, defines, and channels it.

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