Virginia FOP Oppose Shelson Adelson Efforts

Virginia FOP Oppose Shelson Adelson EffortsThe battle for regulated U.S. online gambling gained a new ally on the pro side as Virginia’s Fraternal Order of Police spoke out against Sheldon Adelson.

The FOP president in the Old Dominion State, Kevin Carroll, penned a Letter to the Editor of the Richmond Times-Dispatch recently, denouncing Adelson’s anti-gambling efforts. Those efforts are behind the Restoration of America’s Wire Act proposed by Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Representative Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) in March.

The Graham/Chaffetz measure has not gained much traction, but that didn’t stop Carroll from blasting the proposal. The FOP top cop points out that Virginia has an exemplary record of running its lottery and takes offense to the idea that the federal government could destroy the autonomy of Virginia and every state by adopting such legislation.

Carroll abhors the intent of the Graham/Chaffetz bill as both a Virginian and a law enforcement officer, stating that it should be up to individual states to decide the issue of regulated online gambling. That right was clarified by the DoJ in its 2011 ruling pertaining to the 1961 Wire Act.

Doing away with the ability of states to regulate online poker and gambling would force the citizens of Virginia and every state to game in unregulated, overseas black markets where there are no consumer protections, Carroll added. It would also prohibit states from raising much-needed revenue that goes toward education, law enforcement and other state services.

Virginia law enforcement now joins a long list of those opposed to Sheldon Adelson and his Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling (CSIG). That list most recently saw the Georgia Lottery and the National Conference of State Legislatures climb aboard.

Spearheading the drive for online poker and gambling regulation in the U.S. are the Poker Players Alliance and the Coalition for Consumer & Online Protection. The latter was formed as a direct result of Adelson’s CSIG that began spewing anti-online gambling propoganda late last year.

Part of Adelson’s spiel is that regulation would allow criminals to launder money through online gaming sites. Carroll offers a rebuttal to that argument and does so with direct experience in the matter.

As a law enforcement officer, I am faced with crime and criminals every day, Carroll wrote. We need to do everything we can to shut unregulated sites, not give them more opportunities to thrive. Taking online gaming away from the states will do just that.

Carroll echoes the sentiment of many in urging that igaming regulation be left up to the states to decide.

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Jacqueline Packett
Jacqueline Packett