Utah Outlaws Future Federal Gambling Legislation

04/28/2012
By Pamela PattersonGoogle

Various states throughout the US as well as the federal government are currently reviewing online casino games legislation and it looks like many are moving toward possible legalization. The state of Utah has elected to go in the other direction.

 

Governor Gary Herbert signed a bill earlier this week, HB108, which deems online poker illegal in the state of Utah. The legislation was presented in the Utah House and Senate earlier in the month and passed unanimously. By signing this piece of legislation into law, Utah is the ninth state to make online poker and online casino games illegal. In debating the severity of punishment one would receive from breaking the law, it was previously considered to deem it a felony, however this has been reduced to a misdemeanor crime.

 

There is language within the bill that will also determine Utah’s stance on gaming in the future. According to the legislation, residents of Utah will be prohibited from participating in any federally legislated online casino games ruling.

 

The legislation reads, “If any federal law is enacted that authorizes internet gambling in the (country) and that federal law provides that individual states may opt out, this state shall opt out of internet gambling in the manner provided by federal law.”

 

This language will make it nearly impossible for any future House, Senate or Governor to allow Utah residents to participate in a federally regulated online poker market and the best no deposit casinos. In order for citizens of Utah to play, HB108 would have to be overturned by the state’s government, an unlikely proposition as the state has never allowed any form of gaming, including lotteries.

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