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Arthur Gleason newest US official to propose legalisation of online poker

Written By: Maya Michaels | November 13, 2012 | Posted In Poker News

Arthur Gleason, Kentucky Lottery’s boss is the newest US official to voice opposition to proposed federal legislation that that could see some types of online poker and off-track horserace gambling legalised.

Gleason is the President and Chief Executive Officer for the Kentucky Lottery Corporation and made a letter to US Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell last week urging the Kentucky Republican to resist the draft Internet Gambling Prohibition, Poker Consumer Protection and Strengthening UIGEA Act of 2012, which was co-authored by Senators Harry Reid and Jon Kyl.

The letter from Gleason read “As President of the Kentucky Lottery Corporation, a public agency established by the Kentucky General Assembly, I strongly urge you to oppose any legislation drafted by Senator Reid or Senator Kyl that would legalise interstate Internet poker,”

“We have received only a summary of the provisions of the proposed legislation, which may ultimately be attached to other legislation introduced during this congressional session. Based on the summary, this proposed legislation will primarily benefit the state of Nevada and the casino industry. Consequently, we believe it would be ill-advised and contrary to the interests of the Commonwealth of Kentucky and its residents.”

Although stating that his organisation currently has no immediate plans to ‘initiate the intrastate sale of lottery tickets via the Internet’, Gleason nevertheless regards the proposed legislation as something that would ‘definitely curtail that right, and consequently, future revenue generating opportunities’.

“According to the summary, lotteries would be prohibited from choosing for themselves which games to offer on the Internet and would be precluded from offering any interactive games,”

“Of particular concern is that lotteries would be limited to selling games where drawings are not more than once daily, which may impact the sale of existing draw games. Federally licensed Internet poker operators would compete directly with state lotteries and other state-authorised gaming activities and under the Reid/Kyl bill state lotteries could not be licensed for at least the first two years.”

Gleason additionally wrote that the proposed federal tax rate for Internet poker of 14 percent would be lower than that ‘now generally applied to authorised gaming activities’ while protesting that 30 percent of this amount would go to the state where the licensor is located.

The letter read “This is not a win for states that are not licensing online poker,”

“The federal government should not encroach on states’ rights to implement and regulate Internet gaming within their own borders. Individual states are best able to decide what, if any, gambling should occur within their borders.”

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