March 2, 2015
The Honorable J. Randy Forbes
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, D.C. 20515
Dear Representative Forbes,
I am writing on behalf of the members of the Virginia State Lodge of the Fraternal Order of
Police to thank you for your ongoing commitment to public safety in our great Commonwealth
and to applaud you and your colleagues on the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland
Security, and Investigations for closely examining the issues related to Internet safety and online gaming.
As the Subcommittee begins consideration of this issue, I would like to ask you to oppose
legislation entitled the “Restoration of America’s Wire Act.” This legislation purports to put the
safety of children and consumers first, but does nothing to curb illegal online gambling or protect Americans online.
As a law enforcement officer, I am faced with dangerous criminal activity everyday, and I cannot
overstate the risks that black market gambling sites currently pose to adult consumers and
children alike. The legislation would do nothing to curb unlawful online gaming. In fact, it would
only push dangerous black market vendors further into the shadows, putting consumers and
children at even greater risk. We need to do everything we can to shut unregulated sites down,
not give them more opportunities to thrive.
The best way to deter dangerous criminal activity – including fraud, money laundering and
terrorist financing – is to establish a well-regulated online gaming industry like those which have been established in Delaware, Nevada and New Jersey. We believe strongly that this issue is best
left to the States to decide and regulate, and that individual States’ gaming laws should be left to State legislators, not Congress.
In addition, Congress has already spoken on this issue. A Federal ban on online gaming would
undermine current law, which recognizes that horse racing, fantasy sports and intrastate
authorized gaming and lotteries are not subject to restrictions set forth by Unlawful Internet
Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 (UIGEA)–legislation which had the support of the FOP. Since the enactment of UIGEA, the FOP has diligently worked to ensure that laws intended to
combat money laundering and other criminal activity were implemented to their fullest extent. A
ban will only hinder our efforts to combat unlawful activity on the Internet.
Thank you again for your ongoing service to our nation and your consideration of the facts on
this important issue. I hope that we can work together to ensure that consumers are protected and
criminals are brought to justice. If I can provide any additional information on this or any other
issue, please do not hesitate to contact me or the FOP’s National Legislative Office in
President, Virginia State Lodge
Fraternal Order of Police