The fight over Internet gaming has long been dominated by high-flying groups such as the Poker Players Alliance, but Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley and other state-level legislators with a stake in lottery profits are now also laying their cards on the table, reports Roll Call.
Alarmed by rumors that the Joint Committee on Deficit Reduction could look for federal savings in new online gambling rules, Mr. O’Malley, Democrat, wrote to the panel’s co-chairmen last week to urge them “to oppose proposals to federalize Internet poker and casino gambling.”
New federal gambling rules could jeopardize the $519 million that Maryland’s state lottery pulls in each year to underwrite education and other programs, Mr. O’Malley wrote to Sen. Patty Murray, Washington Democrat, and and Rep. Jeb Hensarling, Texas Republican, who lead the super committee.
Many state legislators and lottery operators object to a bill introduced earlier this year by Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas) that would end the federal ban on online gambling and federally regulate Internet poker. Cash-strapped state officials fear that new federal rules could rob them of a crucial revenue stream, Roll Call reports.