The midterm elections in various states in the US are usually not considered to be very important (even though they are) but this year, you might need to pay some extra attention especially if you are an online casino gamer or poker player. During the forthcoming midterm elections, there are a couple of states that will be holding elections and referendums which are anticipated to have some profound impacts on online poker, sports wagering and online gaming in general. While the elections could mean a step forward for online poker legislation in certain states, there is a huge possibility that it could also mean a step in the opposite direction for some other states.
Legal and regulated online poker went live in Nevada in 2013 under the state’s current governor, Brian Sandoval, who also happens to be a proponent of online gambling. Now, for this year’s midterm elections, the problem is that the term limits prevent the governor from running for re-election and in his place will the current Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt who won the Republican party primary in June. Unlike Governor Sandoval, Adam Laxalt has not been shy to express his rather bold stance against online gambling – he has even gone as far as publicly criticizing the state’s online poker legislation.
Furthermore, in addition to adding his name to the list of state attorney generals who are supporting the Restoration of America’s Wire Act, Laxalt has also recently signed a letter addressed to the Trump Administration asking the Department of Justice to reverse the legal opinion from 2011 that states that the Wire Act is only applicable to sports betting.
Obviously, if Adam Laxalty wins the midterm elections next month, legal and regulated online poker in the state of Nevada might meet its untimely end.
Hopefully, during the November midterm elections, the long-awaited online poker legislation will be taken off the shelf. Lawmakers in the state have come quite close to legalizing and regulating online poker but everything fell apart after a disagreement about the “suitable poker operator” came up. Since then, they have spent close to two years debating whether various gaming entities including the casinos, horse racing facilities, or gaming sites should be given the opportunity to offer online poker.
In Florida’s case, one of the biggest issues is Amendment 3, which also happens to be one of the biggest ballot issues in any state this time around. Otherwise known as “The Voter Control of Gambling in Florida”, Amendment 3, if passed, would require that before any new form of casino gaming is set up in the state, it would have to pass a vote with at least a 60 percent approval rate.