Republicans & Democrats on Online Casinos – Against or In Favor?

Online gambling is morphing into a juggernaut industry across the globe. In 2022, this sector pulled in $63 billion in revenues, and market consulting firm Grand View Research estimates that this sphere will continue growing worldwide at an annual rate of 11.7% until 2030. Without question, internet penetration and smartphone adoption have led to millions of people enjoying games of chance remotely.

The American Gaming Association states that Americans wager hundreds of billions of dollars on interactive gaming products yearly. However, online casinos are illegal in the US, except for six states (New Jersey, Connecticut, Michigan, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Delaware). At the same time, most offshore sites are based in countries like Panama and Curacao. In a pre-2013 era, where no US region allowed operators to run gambling websites from American soil, these hubs were the only option for internet casino-style gaming fun. These platforms still have their virtual doors open so Americans can play slots online and table games over the internet, regardless of local regulations.

In 2011, the US Department of Justice made a novel interpretation of the Interstate Wire Act of 1961, which Robert F. Kennedy championed in the 1960s to combat organized crime, as only applying to sports betting. That move allowed individual US territories to pass laws regulating online gaming as they saw fit. New Jersey was the first to do so, and over the decade that followed, only five other states joined the Garden, one in legalizing this hobby. With this year’s primary elections coming up, many US games of chance enthusiasts are now curious about where both parties stand concerning online casino regulation. So far, thirty-three states (plus the District of Columbia) have allowed sports betting, but only six interactive gaming.

Where Republicans Stand on Online Casinos Regulation

One’s stance on gambling gets principally guided by their ideological beliefs. Since the United States has more Christians than any other nation, and with most evangelical Christians and conservative Catholics supporting the Republican party, it should be clear that Republicans would customarily be against gambling. Right? Well, not quite. Though most religions outright forbid betting activities, or at least frown upon them, many conservatives do not uphold these beliefs.

Going by past experiences, when it comes to state-regulated gambling, Republicans and Democrats usually seek to play the same hand. Sadly, it is often a losing one. The rate with which red and blue representatives try to pass online gambling bills has traditionally been the same, with similar unfavorable outcomes. In the context of online casinos, there is a general stigma surrounding this practice in the US that sports betting does not share, for multiple reasons, with many unjustifiably viewing casino gambling as more dangerous. Also, betting has many powerful lobbyists, like sports leagues, aiding nationwide approval.

Despite five of the six states that have legalized online casinos can get seen as blue. Not in all, the bills that pushed through this approval have gotten sponsored by members of the Democratic Party. For example, in Michigan, Brandt Iden, a republican, gaming expert, and a state legislator with a seat in the e Michigan House of Representatives, helped guide the legalization of online casinos in the Great Lake State. That said, in Texas, republicans have heavily opposed gambling legislation. And in swing states like Florida, opinions about gaming activities remain divided amongst conservatives.

Still, per a 2020 Gallup poll, 70% of Republicans view gambling as morally acceptable. In 2009, Gallup reported this percentage at 58%. Donald Trump, before becoming president, publicly proclaimed a pro-online gambling stance, only for the DOJ to add ambiguity over the validity of the Wire Act of 1961 under his presidency.

Where Democrats Stand on Online Casino Regulation

Following the same cited 2020 Gallup poll above, 76% of self-identified Democrats see nothing wrong with gambling. Despite a Republican representative pushing through a bill to allow online casino fun for Michigan residents, it was a democrat governor that allowed this. The same goes for the laws on this issue passed in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Connecticut. Now, experts predict that Illinois will follow suit, and it too is under the rule of a Democratic governor.

Thus, it is evident that democrats have a more liberal stance regarding any gambling regulation than republicans, and their representatives are more likely to campaign for such laws to materialize into reality. The chief element that is stopping online casinos from getting allowed in most blue states, as everywhere else, is the fear that gambling addiction rates shall skyrocket in these regions if they do. According to the International Center for Responsible Gaming, only roughly one percent of Americans are affected by this condition. But even a tiny uptick can negatively influence millions of people on a nationwide scale.

Help Keep Big Easy Magazine Alive

Hey guys!

Covid-19 is challenging the way we conduct business. As small businesses suffer economic losses, they aren’t able to spend money advertising.

Please donate today to help us sustain local independent journalism and allow us to continue to offer subscription-free coverage of progressive issues.

Thank you,
Scott Ploof
Big Easy Magazine

Share this Article

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *