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Shuler, Meeks Co-Sign Anti-Gambling Letter

Written by:
Guest
Published on:
Jul/24/2009

Rep. Heath Shuler (D-N.C.), a former Washington Redskins quarterback, was among three members of Congress who sent a joint letter to Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. urging him to scrutinize efforts to legalize sports betting in Delaware and New Jersey.

The letter, dated Tuesday and also signed by Rep. Gregory W. Meeks (D-N.Y.) and Rep. Spencer Bachus (R-Ala.), says the states' efforts "threaten to permit expanded sports gambling and as a consequence threaten the integrity of our national pastimes."

The letter, a copy of which was obtained by The Washington Post, says the Congressmen "encourage the Department of Justice to defend the federal prohibition against sports betting and take any actions necessary to safeguard amateur and professional sports."

Sen. Orrin G. Hatch (R-Utah) and Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) also sent a letter to Holder this week expressing similar sentiments.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has been sharply critical of the Delaware sports betting law and the NFL has challenged that legislation in court.

In their letter, Shuler, Meeks and Bachus write that "sports betting endangers the integrity of the pastimes we enjoy and the nature of the games we follow. Importantly, state sponsored sports gambling will promote gambling throughout our culture, but particularly among young fans. For these reasons, we encourage you to defend the 1992 [federal anti-sports-betting] statute and closely follow the Delaware situation for violations of federal law."

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