- Valdosta, Ga. - June 07, 2012 -
Could the internet soon become the largest casino in America?
Internet gambling is currently outlawed in every state in the nation but some believe it is the solution to a down economy. By some estimates online gambling could bring in hundreds of millions, if not billions, of dollars in tax revenue.
But now some groups, including in Georgia, are asking "At what cost to families?".
Family-Centric groups in 13 states including Georgia sent letters to congressional leaders Wednesday. They want to strengthen the law against online gambling.
The "Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act" outlawed internet betting in 2006. But in December the Justice Department ruled that in-state online bets do not violate federal law if they're not betting on sports.
Now there's a rush across the country in cash-strapped states to legalize it.
"It's taking away from families and families should come first. And if they're gambling they won't have the money to buy food, to pay bills or stuff like that. Then they have to end up being on welfare or something like that and it gets further down and further down," said Vicki Fletcher, Valdosta resident.
"I don't see why we shouldn't have the right to gamble if that's what a person chooses to do. I mean it's their money. If a person wants to blow all their money gambling that's up to them. We do live in America, said Mark Henry, Valdosta resident.
If online gambling begins to be legalized it will likely only come on a state-by-state basis.
Officials say 10 states have already expressed interest in legalizing online gambling. On the forefront are New Jersey and Nevada. These of course are states that are known for their lucrative gambling industries already.
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