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LEGALIZED ONLINE GAMBLING UNLIKELY IN VIRGINIA
28th February, 2011 at 03:18:12
Is Virginia leaning towards a draconian ban a la Washington State?
Some US states may be taking a more pragmatic approach to the legalisation of online gambling, but it appears that Virginia is not among them.
State politician Clifford L. Athey Jr is at the forefront of moves to "clarify" the state's position on internet gambling....and not in a good way for the industry.
Athey has introduced a proposal that all forms of internet gambling, from lotteries and 'sweepstake' style action at internet cafes to online casinos and poker, be criminalised, although he appears to have stopped short of imposing a Washington-state style ban on the actual players.
His bill has passed the General Assembly and asserts that in order to be legal, the purpose of an internet game should in no way be associated with illegal gambling.
Athey has been supported by state Senator Obenshain and Delegate Oder, who have introduced companion bills HB1700 and HB1584 and Senate Bill 1195. These seek to outlaw Internet casino gambling in Virginia, while preserving the ability of restaurants to offer Internet time and games that do not involve gambling in any form.
If the bills survive the Virginia legislative process, it will enable enforcement agencies to pursue criminal charges against the owners of any establishments still attempting to use loopholes in the existing law to offer sweepstakes-type video gambling in Internet cafes in Virginia.
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