Senate Committee on Indian Affairs Hearing for Internet Gambling in US: Witness List Released

Written by:
C Costigan
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Senate Committee on Indian Affairs Hearing for Internet Gambling in US:  Witness

On Thursday February 9, 2012, the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs will hold an oversight hearing entitled, “The U.S. Department of Justice Opinion on Internet Gaming: What's at Stake for Tribes?”  The hearing is a third in a series that started late last year to study Internet gambling and its potential impact on U.S. consumers and the overall economy.  This particular hearing will focus on the impact of Tribal gambling in the States.   

The witness list includes gambling law expert I. Nelson Rose and Poker Players Alliance (PPA) Board Member and Litigation Support Director Patrick “Skallagrim” Fleming, who is a regular on the popular posting forum

The full witness list appears below.

Fleming spoke to regarding his opinion of what a recent change of stance by the Department of Justice means to online poker.  It now stipulates that The Wire Act will no longer apply to poker.

“The change in the DOJ’s interpretation of the Wire Act is like the barn doors being flung open; the only question is what animals will run out,” Fleming said.  “We have 50 state possibilities with respect to everything other than sports wagering.

“The key question is where are we right now? We have the vast majority of states - 41 - that don’t have a law in place addressing internet gaming. When the remaining states do address the internet, what are they going to do? We’ve seen all sorts of different proposals. The biggest question is whether it’ll be 50 different state proposals or whether the Federal Government will step in.”

When asked if supporters of legalized online poker in the US might be misinterpreting what the DOJ’s position is, Fleming responded,  “They wouldn’t be taking the DOJ at its word. The DOJ’s word in their letter is that the Wire Act is limited to wagers on sporting events. If you’re plunking down money to play online poker, you’re outside of the Wire Act.”


Panel #  1

The Honorable Robert Odawi Porter
Seneca Nation of Indians, Salamanca, NY


Panel #  2

Mr. Kevin K. Washburn
Dean, School of Law Administration
University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM


Mr. I. Nelson Rose
Senior Professor
Whittier Law School, Encino, CA


Mr. Alex Skibine
Professor, S.J. Quinney College of Law
University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT


Panel #  3

Mr. Patrick Fleming
Litigation Support Director
Poker Players Alliance, Washington, DC


Mr. Glenn Feldman
Mariscal, Weeks, McIntyre & Friedlander, Phoenix, AZ

- Chris Costigan, Publisher