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Romney Opposes Online Gambling

Written By: PokerNet.com | February 7, 2012 | Posted In Poker News

On this tour in Nevada last weekend, Mitt Romney stated that he doesn’t support online gambling in the United States because of “the social costs and people’s addictive gambling habits.” The Republican presidential candidate made this clear in an interview with 8 News Now.

He also said the same thing in an interview with journalist Jon Ralston when asked if he is a supporter of legalizing the activity. Romney said, “No, no I’m not. Gaming has a social effect on a lot of people. I don’t want to increase access to gaming. I feel that we have plenty of access to gaming right now through the various casinos and establishments that exist.” Romney, former governor of Massachusetts and a Mormon, isn’t alone with his stance in online gaming. A Utah lawmaker introduced a bill just a week ago that would preemptively ban online gaming in that state.

The federal government is still mulling over online gaming but some states are already looking at the possibilities of its legalization. Nevada, complete with regulations and licensing just close by, is the furthest state among the others that consider the industry. However, others say that Romney’s position isn’t that relevant with the progress of online gaming’s legalization. “Ultimately, I don’t think any presidential candidate’s current position on online gaming is going to matter much, since many states are going to take it upon themselves to legalize online gaming within their own borders,” UNLV’s Dr. David Schwartz told Card Player. “Just as with Indian gaming in the late 1980s, Congress will likely be forced to act.”

The Poker Players Alliance (PPA) stood up to denounce Romney, saying that the latter is unaware and misinformed regarding the safeguards they intend to place on any upcoming internet poker legislation. PPA said that the legislation will be created so that consumers and players are protected from addictions to gambling.

The main lobbying group on behalf of poker players said that Romney was perhaps not properly educated on the direction of the online poker legislation. Governor Romney’s statement seems to be based on a misperception of regulation and the status quo,” said PPA Executive Director John Pappas. “We hope to educate him that regulation will mean strong enforcement and meaningful consumer protections, while doing nothing will only exacerbate any perceived problems he has with gaming.”

This opposition didn’t affect in the Nevada caucuses however as he swept victory in the state. “This isn’t the first time you gave me your vote of confidence, but this time I’m going to take it to the White House,” he said as he thanked his supporters at his campaign headquarters in Las Vegas, alluding to his win in Nevada in 2008.

[Source: Poker News]

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