Lawmakers Push Sessions Over Online Gambling

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Lawmakers have asked US Attorney General Jeff Sessions to review a controversial Department of Justice opinion issued in 2011 that altered the long-held stance related to online and phone gambling, this according to The Hill.

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Sessions had questioned that opinion at the time of his confirmation hearing to become the new AG under President Donald Trump’s administration.  He opposed the change of position as Senator in 2011.

“I would revisit it or make a decision about it based on careful study,” he said during his confirmation hearing.

Senator Mark Warner (D-Va) was among those pressing the AG in a letter dated July 5 whereby he wrote that “online gambling sites “are especially fertile platforms for the facilitation of money laundering, collusion and other illegal activities”.  That letter also cited findings by the FBI.

Warner also suggested that the “potentially predatory nature of online gambling represents a heightened threat to economically vulnerable populations.”

Warner is hopeful Sessions will opt to reverse the 2011 opinion.

“The OLC opinion appears to be based on legal interpretation alone and does not provide background on the extent to which consideration was given to social, economic and law enforcement implications,” Warner wrote.

The move comes at a time when Pennsylvania is moving towards becoming the fourth state to embrace legalized Internet gambling. 

Republican mega-donor and casino titan Sheldon Adelson has been pushing for online gambling prohibition for the past few years now.  His efforts had the support of a handful of Republican Senators and Representatives as well as Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein. 

Adelson has donated millions to the Republican party but was late to jump on the Trump bandwagon, though he reportedly paid for a portion of the inauguration party.

- Aaron Goldstein,

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