US based police organization the US National Fraternal Order of the Police has come out against a bill that would ban online gambling in the United States this week, saying that it would put players at risk.
The announcement came through an editorial in The Hill publication through FOP President Chuck Canterbury said that his group wants to make US citizens safer, and that banning online gambling would fail to do that.
Canterbury expressed his group's position, saying: "Currently, approximately 1 million Americans spend approximately $3 billion a year on illegal, black market online gaming. And we know, based on demand, this number is going to continue to grow significantly in the future."
"Not only does the black market for Internet gaming include no consumer protections, it also operates entirely offshore with unlicensed [in the USA] operators, drastically increasing the threat of identity theft, fraud or other criminal acts."
"Not only would a ban push more and more Americans into the black market, it would remove the protections that states like Delaware, New Jersey, and Nevada have already put in place. Essentially, you are banning a well regulated system, in favor of an unregulated, unprotected, black market."
"The solution is clear: we should maintain states’ rights to regulate online gaming within their borders and reinvest that revenue to make sure the systems are safe for all consumers. This will also allow law enforcement the tools necessary to monitor and shutdown illegal activity and give consumers who may have been victims a means of redress."
"A national ban would literally take money away from police departments, schools and other critical services. That means less cops on the beat. Congress would force regulated gaming and lotteries to shut down in many states, creating holes in their budgets that they may have no other way to fill."
"Finally, by having a well-regulated, well-monitored system for online gaming, people will be less drawn to illegal, black market sites which means a decrease in targets for criminals and less profit for their unlawful enterprises."
"We want to keep our citizens and our officers safe. And the best way to do this is to drive black market online gaming into the light and scrutiny of a regulated system that is safe, fun and fair."
Last week, a bill that would ban online gambling in the United States was introduced by Senator Lindsay Graham and Representative Jeff Chaffetz. The bill would reverse the Department of Justice's opinion on the Wire Act and effectively make the offering of online betting services illegal within US borders.