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April 28, 2014

Coalition Letter Regarding Online Gaming Ban

 

April 28, 2014

The Honorable Bob Goodlatte
Chairman, Committee on the Judiciary
United States House of Representatives
2138 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515

The Honorable John Conyers, Jr.
Ranking Member, Committee on the Judiciary
United States House of Representatives
B-351 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515

The Honorable Patrick Leahy
Chairman, Committee on the Judiciary
United States Senate
224 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510

The Honorable Chuck Grassley
Ranking Member, Committee on the Judiciary
United States Senate
224 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510

Dear Chairmen Goodlatte and Leahy, and Ranking Members Conyers and Grassley,

We, the undersigned individuals and organizations, are writing to express our deep concerns about the Restoration of America’s Wire Act (H.R. 4301), which would institute a de facto ban on internet gaming in all 50 states. The legislation is a broad overreach by the federal government over matters traditionally reserved for the states. H.R. 4301 will reverse current law in many states and drastically increase the federal government’s regulatory power. As we have seen in the past, a ban will not stop online gambling. Prohibiting states from legalizing and regulating the practice only ensures that it will be pushed back into the shadows where crime can flourish with little oversight.

In this black market, where virtually all sites are operated from abroad, consumers have little to no protection from predatory behavior. Perhaps even more concerning is the fact that this bill allows the federal government to take a heavy hand in regulating the Internet, opening the door for increased Internet regulation in the future. By banning a select form of Internet commerce, the federal government is setting a troubling precedent and providing fodder to those who would like to see increased Internet regulation in the future. We fear that H.R. 4301 will begin a dangerous process of internet censorship that will simultaneously be circumvented by calculated international infringers while constraining the actions of private individuals and companies in the United States.

H.R. 4301 also creates carve-outs that exempt certain special interests from the federal government’s reach. This amounts to the federal government picking winners and losers – choosing select industries or private-sector businesses to succeed at the expense of others, which is at odds with free-market competition.

In total, H.R. 4301 is an inappropriate and unnecessary use of federal powers that infringes on the rights of individuals and states. We applaud you for standing against this government overreach and preserving the principles of federalism and free-market competition that underscore American democracy.

Sincerely,

Joe Jansen
Alliance for Freedom

Steve Pociask
President
American Consumer Institute

Michelle Minton
Fellow
Competitive Enterprise Institute

Coley Jackson
President
Freedom Action

Matt Kibbe
President
FreedomWorks

Carrie Lukas
Managing Director
Independent Women’s Forum

Andrew Langer
President
Institute for Liberty

Tom Giovanetti
President
Institute for Policy Innovation

Eli Lehrer
President
R Street Institute

David Williams
President
Taxpayer Protection Alliance


 

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