When the top lawman in the no-gambling state of Utah says he supports the attempts of Congressman Barney Frank to overturn the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act it's going to raise eyebrows....and maybe drop a few jaws!
That's exactly what it did when Utah's Attorney General Mark Shurtleff commented in a radio interview carried by KSL Radio that he would back Frank's proposal to regulate and license online gambling in order to guard Utah citizens against dishonest and shady casino sites.
Speaking with surprising and welcome honesty, the Utah AG acknowledged that the UIGEA had not been effective in stopping US residents from putting their money down in Internet casinos and poker rooms.
He also seemed concerned about tribal gambling, saying that it was important that any new legislation does not create opportunities for tribal [land] casinos in Utah. Although permitted by federal legislation, not all states are partial to the idea of tribal casino expansion.
Commenting on the departure of reputable casinos triggered by the UIGEA, and the vacuum this had left for less desirable operators to move in, the AG said: "These sites are unregulated, so there's all kinds of unscrupulous behaviour going on."