Citing the potential loss of millions of dollars of revenue in online lottery ticket sales, the Georgia Lottery is opposed to anti-igaming efforts.
Those efforts are led by Sheldon Adelson and his Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling (CSIG). The billionaire casino mogul, who made his fortune through land-based gaming operations, is behind federal legislation that, if approved, would prohibit online gambling nationwide.
One of the CSIG’s main arguments against Internet gambling is that children may be able to access online gaming sites and cannot be safeguarded. Most industry experts realize that this argument is rather weak, as the regulated sites in Delaware, New Jersey and Nevada have successfully implemented procedures to prevent underaged gambling.
Ironically enough, the Georgia Lottery points to the fact that thousands of children are now benefiting from online lottery ticket sales, the Atlanta Journal Constitution reported. Lottery tickets have been sold online in the Peach State since November 2012, funneling almost $2 million to programs for preschoolers and youngsters aiming for HOPE scholarships.
Also somewhat ironic is the fact that the 2011 DoJ ruling that clarified the 1961 Wire Act and allowed for individual states to establish their own online poker and gambling regimes came about due to state lotteries requesting a legal interpretation of the act. The Illinois and New York lotteries got the igaming ball rolling by making said request.
Adelson and the CSIG support the “Restoration of America’s Wire Act,” federal legislation proposed in March by Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz and South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham. The Georgia Lottery is but one of a number of groups who have joined in the battle against that proposal, as the National Conference of State Legislatures also recently expressed opposition to the anti-online gambling effort.
Propaganda put forth by the CSIG recently shows a video of a young boy gambling online and spiraling out of control due to igaming regulation beginning to spread in the U.S. If the Georgia Lottery were to make a video, the snippet would likely be more realistic and show that same boy heading to college with schoolbooks in hand thanks to scholarships made available by proceeds from online gambling.
There are some risks attached to the legalization of online gambling. But regulation is the safest way to minimize those risks, as individuals who are inclined to gamble online will find a way to do it whether it’s regulated or not.