Governors to Sessions: Butt out!

If Attorney General Jeff Sessions was thinking about re-reinterpreting the Federal Wire Act, he might want to think again. The National Governors Association composed a letter to Sessions in which it said, “States are best equipped to enforce and regulate online gaming.” They didn’t bury the lead, either. The first sentence of the letter says, “The nation’s governors are concerned with legislative or administrative actions that would ban online Internet gaming and Internet lottery sales.” Whilst acknowledging differences of opinion on gambling among various and sundry governors, the letter went on to say, “we agree that decisions at the federal level that affect state regulatory authority should not be made unilaterally without state input.  A strong, cooperative relationship between the states and federal government is vital to best serve the interests of all citizens.”

The missive concluded, “The nation’s governors stand ready to discuss this issue with you further.” Translation: Don’t even think about touching the Wire Act with consulting us first.

* In a singularly nonsensical development, Michigan legislators have been presented with a proposal to legalize ‘Net betting — but only if you are physically present in one of the state’s casinos while you do it. (Sheldon Adelson might actually like this idea if it didn’t benefit his competitors.) That’s right, you would have to go to a casino to gamble online. Gaming pundit Dr. David G. Schwartz put his finger squarely on the illogicality of the bill, saying, “Would you drive to Home Depot to use Amazon to buy something? I probably wouldn’t, as nice as Home Depot is. I want the convenience of getting something at home.”

We don’t expect this to go anywhere — or do we overestimate the intelligence of Michigan lawmakers?

* Congratulations to WinnaVegas Casino & Resort, near Sloan, Iowa, which just marked 25 years in business, a feather in the cap of the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska. What began in some mobile homes and prefab structures has enduring to become a thriving casino. WinneVegas must have set some sort of land speed record in achieving federal approval and opening its doors. “I’ve never heard of a casino getting approval from beginning to opening in 18 months; it just doesn’t happen,” says tribal council Vice Chairman Vince Bass.

WinnaVegas also sports a hotel, 1,500-seat concert hall, a small conference center, in addition to 55,000 square feet of casino floor. Modeled on Mystic Lake Casino, WinneVegas hasn’t quite reached those proportions (for one thing, Mystic Lake has a golf course) but it hasn’t done too badly for itself. Here’s to the next 25 years.

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