Legal Roundup – Hawaii Reconsiders, DC Stalls, and Illinois Begins Dialogue on Online Gaming

January 26, 2012
Legal Roundup – Hawaii Reconsiders, DC Stalls, and Illinois Begins Dialogue on Online Gaming

In today legal roundup, we take a look at three states that are considering online gaming. Hawaii is revisiting the issue once again after striking it down last year, Illinois is in the early stages of considering online gaming, while DC seems to continue to stall on the implementation of legislation passed last year.

Hawaii Reconsiders Online Gaming

According to reports, Hawaii is looking at the issue of online gaming once again thank to the well publicized DOJ memo regarding the Wire Act.  Three bills are slated to be presented to the state legislature this session that would not only establish a lottery and online gaming in the state, but also brick and mortar casinos.

Some of you may remember that Hawaii tried to move a bill through its legislature last year, but it gained very little support.  Some feel that the recent DOJ memo may give it a bit more traction.  However, considering that Hawaii is still one of two states in the US that have zero forms of legal gambling, this could be a long fight.

DC Still Stalling and May Repeal Online Gambling Bill

Washington DC has been in headlines recently due to their investigation into the bill that legalized online gaming for the district.  While no criminal wrongdoing was found in the investigation, some on the DC council still want the bill repealed.

DC could become the first in the United States to offer online gambling should the council allow it to proceed, but DC Council member Jack Edwards clearly stated that he’s not concerned whether they are first to offer online gaming.

With all of the recent and negative press surrounding the DC online gambling measure, do not be surprised if they decide to hold off on the measure to give citizens the option to vote on whether to offer online gaming.

Illinois Could Consider Online Gaming to Help Pass State Gambling Expansion

Illinois is currently looking at way to expand gaming within it’s border with one purpose to help the struggling horse racing industry in the state.  One proposed solution was to place slot machines in the racetracks, but this is opposed by Governor Pat Quinn.  Instead, now the proposition of online gaming may be considered.

Rep. Chad Hays is the main proponent of the measure, one that has already been brought up in discussions with groups of lawmakers examining whether to expand gambling in the state.  While he is encouraged by the discussion, he admits that a lot of progress need to be made to get there.

Rep. Hays, like many other lawmakers in the country is hedging his bet on the DOJ opinion regarding the wire act.  However, University of Illinois Professor John Kindt gives an opposing view.  He says, “The effect this legal opinion will have is that it is slowly removing almost all regulatory oversight of gambling.   And once gambling is on the Internet, it’s in every living room, office, school and mobile phone. And it’s an economically destructive activity which is going to cost the U.S .hundreds of billions, if not trillions, of dollars.”

The group that Rep. Hays is working with hopes to find a group that can independently verify the amount of money that online gambling could yield to the state.  Discussions will continue on the matter sometime next week.


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