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No Online Poker In Utah As State Opts Out Of Federal Law

Utah has been one of the states that has maintained their allegiance to not allowing gambling, and the state further imprinted themselves as a non-gaming state this past week. Lawmakers passed a bill that will ensure that online poker remains prohibited should federal laws regulate the industry.

Individual states have the option to opt-out of federal laws, and Utah legislators were proactive this past week in doing so. The lawmakers passed a bill that will make it illegal to play online poker in Utah. The crime would be considered a misdemeanor that could land individuals that break the law in jail.

It comes as no surprise that Utah has decided against allowing online poker. The state does not allow lotteries, casinos, or any other form of gaming. In an age when gambling is being looked at as an economic savior for many states, Utah has held firm to their core beliefs that gambling is harmful to society.

"Utah has made it clear time and again that they want no part of regulated gaming," said Gaming Analyst Brad Dawkins. "The bill passed last week will make it increasingly difficult should a future governor or lawmaker from the state want to revisit the gambling issue."

While Utah is banning online poker, other states are in a mad rush to regulate an industry that promises to bring hundreds of millions of dollars in tax revenue and thousands of jobs to states that are suffering from the economic recession. Online poker has become one of the most debated issues in states all across the US.

Out West, California and Nevada have considered regulating online poker. Nevada legislators accomplished the feat late last year, while California legislators are still trying to work out the details of the issue. California and Nevada are considered to be two of the leaders in the US gaming industry.

In the Central part of the US, Iowa and Illinois have led the charge for regulated online poker. The first round of negotiations in Illinois led lawmakers to dismiss legislation that would have regulated online gambling. In Iowa, the bills have also failed, but there is more optimism among lawmakers that a deal can be reached.

On the East Coast, Florida and New Jersey are the leading candidates to open the first online casino. New Jersey appears ahead of the Sunshine State, with voters already approving sports betting last year. Senator Raymond Lesniak has been the strongest proponent of online gambling in New Jersey, and he hopes to have online casinos up and running in Atlantic City by the end of the year.

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