SOURCE: Stephen Sandstrom for U.S. Congress

January 31, 2012 14:28 ET

Utah Rep. Stephen Sandstrom Introduces H.B. 108 to Prevent Internet Gambling in Utah

H.B. 108 Includes Opt-Out Provision to Ensure Utah Remains Free of Gambling If U.S. Congress Passes H.R. 1174, Internet Gambling Regulation, Consumer Protection & Enforcement Act or Similar Measures

SALT LAKE CITY, UT--(Marketwire - Jan 31, 2012) - Utah Rep. Stephen Sandstrom today introduced H.B. 108, Internet Gambling, to prevent Internet gaming including gambling that could be conducted on handheld devices, which are not always necessarily connected to the Internet. This legislation would also block the possibility of Indian casinos coming to Utah. Through a specific opt-out provision, H.B. 108 is a direct response by the state of Utah to H.R. 1174, currently under review by the U.S. Congress that would legalize online gambling in the states unless individual states proactively opt out.

"We want to keep Utah free from the negative impacts of legalized gambling," said Sandstrom. "Without courageous leadership to block Internet gaming, Utah could see Indian casinos popping up statewide in just a few years."

The negative impacts of gambling have been thoroughly studied and are very real. According to a report released a few years ago by the California Attorney General's office, casinos opened in urban neighborhoods were found to burden the local community with multiple problems ranging from increases in crime, major traffic congestion, as well as drain the local economy by wiping out many small businesses.

Sandstrom added, "Utah is only one of two states that prohibit any form of gambling, Hawaii being the other. Unfortunately, this could change soon because Hawaii is currently considering legalizing gaming, leaving Utah to fight the principled fight against legalized gambling on its own."

Once labeled the "crack cocaine of gambling," Internet gaming was concluded, in a study prepared by Ryan D. Hammer, to yield a negative impact on the U.S. economy. The report's conclusion went on to state that Internet gambling deprives state and local governments of valuable tax revenues required to maintain services. Finally, it was noted that Internet gambling adversely affects our society in ways that cannot easily be quantified such as addiction, pathological behavior, and family disintegration.

About Utah Representative Stephen Sandstrom
A lifelong resident of Utah, Utah Rep. Stephen Sandstrom graduated from Brigham Young University with a degree in Political Science. He believes in promoting growth through lower taxes, which allow hard-working Utah citizens and Americans to retain their hard-earned savings. Compassionate and approachable, Sandstrom is a listener and trusted problem solver. He is well-known in the community as an honest, classic Reagan conservative. He has been married to his wife Jennie for 22 years, has four children and one grandchild. For more background information, go to Utah Rep. Stephen Sandstrom.

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