US Congress will not aim to pass a federal law banning internet gambling in the short term, after revealing its omnibus spending bill for the next nine months.
Sheldon Adelson, chairman of casino operator Las Vegas Sands, has pushed for a federal ban on online gaming, as the Interstate Wire Act of 1961 only covers the banning of online sports betting, as was ruled by the Justice Department in 2011.
The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) of 2006 did bring about a federal ban on online gambling for real money, but it has since been legalised in New Jersey, Nevada and Delaware.
The $1.1 trillion budget to keep government departments and public services running has been put into a 1,603-page document and has virtually ended the debate about banning online gambling in the US for the time being.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada says he has now lost confidence that more regulation can occur in the near future.
He said: “If we can’t get it into the omnibus, it won’t be in anything,”
Casino operator Caesars Entertainment, which operates gaming sites in New Jersey and Nevada, has welcomed the budget news.
Caesars senior vice president of government affairs Jan Jones Blackhurst said: “We believe that banning internet gaming is bad public policy from our perspective.
"We’re pleased this issue will be discussed openly and not hidden in some omnibus bill.”