Why the Kyl Bill Is Bad Policy. Part 2

No logical public policy reasons exist for exempting these two industries but not other forms of legal gambling such as casinos. The Kyl Bill has essentially become the Interactive Gambling Promotion Act, except that it simply favors certain gaming industry segments over other industry segments. Somehow, the original policy behind the bill was lost in politics.

Gambling and the federal government
Now is the time to re-examine the purpose of the bill. Historically, the role of the federal government in gambling issues has been to assist the various states in the enforcement of their domestic laws regarding gambling. The question in early 1999 was whether the Kyl Bill or the house bill would ultimately be passed. The house bill, which was similar to the original bill proposed by the National Association of Attorneys General, would have effectively given the rights back to the states to decide the issue of interactive gambling within their boundaries. So if Nevada wanted to legalize interactive gambling, it could, and Nevada gaming establishments could accept bets from Nevada, other states where Internet gambling was legal, and from foreign countries such as Australia and Britain.

It’s bad policy
The role of the federal government should be to assist the states in enforcing their respective laws. For example, if Florida has laws prohibiting interactive gaming operators from accepting bets from Florida residents, the federal government should assist Florida in enforcing that policy. The Kyl Bill not only ignores the traditional and time-tested relationship between the federal and state governments, it is bad policy.

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