Online Gambling Community on High Alert After John Kyl Makes a Return

Share This

John Kyl

After online gambling supporters got the news that John Kyl will be replacing the late John McCain, the entire community was in disarray. Arizona Senator, John Kyl has been leading the fight against online gambling.


After serving in office for close to 15 years, Kyl chose to retire in 2013. He has been leading the campaign to restrict online gambling in the United States. According to his official website, he believes online gambling causes more problems than conventional forms, as it gives people unrestricted access to betting.


Internet gambling took off in 1997, after Antigua, an island in the West Indies, passed a law, allowing it to become the host for online gambling. Antigua was enticing for gambling sites, as the island was a tax haven while providing exceptional infrastructure to set up online services. Intertops, the first site to offer online gambling, took advantage of the island’s services by setting shop over there. As a result, they were able to become one of the biggest sites worldwide.


Out of all the options that were available to the government, they decided to go ahead and attempt to ban online gambling. Bob Goodlatte, along with John Kyl proposed “Internet Gambling Prohibition Act of 1997” which banned all types of internet gambling. Even though the bill got approved by the Senate, it didn’t pass through the House, as it wouldn’t go down well with the public.


In 1999, the duo made amendments to the bill with the hope that it would get passed. According to the new bill, only the operators would be penalized; gamblers and the ISPs would be spared. Again, this bill didn’t get passed, as there were numerous loopholes which the operators could exploit.


However, John Kyl tried again with the help of Bob Goodlatte, Bill Frist, and Jim Leach to introduce the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) in 2006. It was attached to the Safe Ports Act to ensure that this bill passed.


After the introduction of UIGEA, the online gambling sites had to be shut down. However, in 2012, John Kyl changed his stance after attempting to introduce a new bill with Harry Reid, the former chairman of the Nevada Gaming Commission and Democratic Senate Majority Leader. Under this bill, online gambling, except for online poker, would still be illegal. However, his attempt was unsuccessful as it didn’t get the traction it needed.


John Kyl is expected to serve as a senator until the end of the U.S Senate session. Governor Doug Ducey, the one who appointed Kyl, hopes that the senator will stay till 2020, until the special election for filling this seat in the Senate.

About the Author