Rep. Stephen Sandstrom’s latest attempts to leave Utah in the gaming industry wilderness have been halted with lawmakers worried about potential costs. The House Law Enforcement Committee have brought House Bill 108 to a standstill due to reservations on how much it will cost the ISPs in the state. This is a necessary evil according to Sandstrom, as he hissed: “There is a lot more at risk to the state than the potential cost. To me I think it really, quite frankly, doesn’t matter, ’cause it will cost the state tens of millions of dollars if they do not go with this.”
Utah is one of the lone stars when it comes to online poker in that they’re vehemently opposed to any gambling having a place. Sandstrom’s bill would do just that and is very likely to make its way through the state’s legislature in the near future. It doesn’t mean that some won’t worry about the state’s web economy and whether the blocking of sites is a necessary cost. There are some that want to better understand the bill itself as well
“We need to have this information prior to voting on this bill,” Rep. Patrice Arent, D-Salt Lake City, said.
Sandstrom was unmoved.
“If we allow Internet gaming in Utah, we will have casinos,” he added.
What he’s referring to is that any federal gambling industry legislation will mean Indian-owned casinos popping up in Utah faster than branches of Subway – something that no lawmaker wants. Sandstrom need not worry. His bill will go through the legislature long before anything peeks through at federal level and no Indian will ever step on Utah land. So Steve there’s no need to build a fence just yet.