Just weeks after announcing he was running for the Speaker of the House position, Representative Jason Chaffetz of Utah, has announced he is no longer seeking the position. This is a big win for online poker proponents as Chaffetz would have been a big opponent to online poker if he was holding the position.
Rich Muny, of the Poker Player’s Alliance, stated that Chaffetz would have been a ‘formidable opponent’ if he had gained the position as the Speaker of the House. Muny thanked everyone who took time to let congressmen know that the anti-poker position of Chaffetz was wrong for the American people.
Chaffetz has been a strong opponent of online poker, having introduced RAWA legislation and worked to push the legislation forward. If RAWA were able to gain any traction, thankfully it has not yet, it would ban online gambling across the United States, essentially shutting down Nevada, Delaware and New Jersey in the process, states that already offer online gambling options.
After announcing he was no longer running for Speaker of the House, it was reported that Chaffetz received a letter from the National Fraternal Order of Police, which stated the organization is not in support of RAWA legislation.
Chaffetz as well as Representative Elijah Cummings received the letter which read that the FOP has been closely watching the debate between prohibition of online gambling or regulation. The members of the FOP have seen the success of regulation in several states with the legal online gambling marketplace and as a result remain resolute in the belief that regulation and associated technologies can provide the necessary safeguards to protect the vulnerable populations such as problem gamblers and children.
The FOP also believes that such regulation will help to enforce state decision of what gambling options are permissible within their individual borders and help to crack down on fraud and abuses by consumers.
The FOP further stated that a prohibition of online gaming on a federal level would make the communities in America less safe instead of more so. The market demand exists as Americans spend almost three billion dollars each year on offshore gaming sites that do not provide safeguards plus remain out of reach of law enforcement. The FOP believes that if online gaming is banned federally, the illegal offshore sites would be empowered, continuing to operate without protection for US citizens.
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