Nation's Leading Family Advocacy Groups Call on Congress to Act to Stop Holder Justice Department's Expansion of Online Gambling

WASHINGTON, May 18, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today 12 of the nation's leading pro-family advocacy groups submitted a letter to the leadership of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives calling for them to act immediately to stop the massive expansion of internet gambling enabled by Attorney General Holder's surprise reinterpretation of the Wire Act.

The letter begins:  "Six years ago, Congress voted overwhelmingly to protect vulnerable communities within our country as well as the integrity of professional sports by stopping the expansion of gambling on the internet.  Unfortunately Congress' clear intent in the Unlawful Internet Gambling Act of 2006 (UIGEA) is now under assault and we are writing to urge you to work once again to protect those most at risk from the proliferation of illegal internet gambling."

The letter was signed by American Values, Eagle Forum, Family Research Council Action, WallBuilders, Religious Freedom Coalition, Christian Coalition, Catholic Advocate, Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, Let Freedom Ring, Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, 60 Plus Association, and Concerned Women for America. It was sent today to Speaker Boehner, Majority Leader Cantor, Senate Republican Leader McConnell, and Senate Republican Whip Kyl.

For more than 50 years, the 1961 Wire Act was interpreted by Justice Departments for both Republican and Democrat Administrations to prohibit gambling over wires, which ultimately came to include the internet. After intense lobbying by states like Illinois that wanted to expand state lotteries to offer online ticket sales, Attorney General Holder issued a surprise new interpretation of the Wire Act on December 23, 2011 that only prohibited sports betting online. Since that decision states have moved to sell lottery tickets online and some are considering proposals to begin offering online casino games.

The letter concludes: "Congress still has an opportunity to act to reassert its authority and re-establish its intent to prevent the proliferation of online gambling in the U.S.  By reinstating the more than 50-year old interpretation of the Wire Act and actually strengthening UIGEA, you can protect our children and families from the erosion of safeguards Congress has previously established."

SOURCE Catholic Advocate



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