October 24, 2017
Thanks to the education efforts of public health activists, today few Americans are now unaware of the dangers of smoking. As a result, cigarette use dropped sharply throughout the 1980s and 1990s. But despite taxes, limitations on where tobacco users can smoke, and other public policies aimed at making the habit more expensive and difficult to engage in, a stubborn portion of adults continues to smoke and nearly half a million of them still die each year from smoking-related illnesses.
Thankfully, a new generation of devices promises to provide both these smokers who have trouble quitting and public health professionals with what they want: a safe and satisfying way to consume nicotine that drastically reduces the risks associated with smoking. Why, then, are states like New York...
October 16, 2017
New Jersey tried to repeal its own law against sports gambling, but a federal law banning sports gambling was used to stop New Jersey’s voters from deciding on their own state laws. Now the Supreme Court is set to weigh in. As I note in a new CEI paper out today, there is much at stake in this case, from the right of state voters to decide their own laws, to consumer protection from fraud, to states’ ability to meet the needs of their citizens.
On the surface, New Jersey merely wants the ability to repeal its own state laws prohibiting sports gambling, which would make the activity legal at casinos and racetracks in the state. At its heart, however, the Court’s decision on the matter could impact every other state’s ability to set their own policies—regardless of the federal government’s wishes—on a...
October 12, 2017
Less than two months after implementing a new “soda tax,” lawmakers in Cook County, Illinois, are repealing the cent-per ounce tax. The Washington Post and others paint it a “major victory for Big Soda,” but county residents recognized the tax for what it was: a bald-faced attempt to raise revenue off the backs of Chicago’s poorest residents. What they may not have realized is that the tax was also an attempt by public health advocates to use their city as a means to convince other, less liberal municipalities to follow their path. Luckily for the rest of the country, the effort has failed.
The Cook Country Board was split on the soda tax issue back in November, with the...
October 2, 2017Executive Order aimed at cutting red tape. The order directs federal agencies to set up task forces to identify regulations that are overly...
October 2, 2017
September 14, 2017
June 27, 2017
This morning, the United States Supreme Court announced it would hear New Jersey’s case on gambling and federalism. The decision seems to reflect concerns raised by CEI and others that federal encroachment on state decision making, if left to stand, presents a grave threat to some of our country’s founding principles.
Will the Supreme Court end the madness?
As I have detailed many times, the problem started in 1992 when Congress enacted a little-known law—that likely will be better known after today—called the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA). It prohibited any state that didn’t already have sports betting from authorizing the activity within its borders.
Because only Nevada had single-game betting at the time (with Montana...
June 23, 2017
I have immense esteem for my friend Norm Singleton at the Campaign for Liberty. His lengthy Capitol Hill experience, depth of knowledge, and humor have duly earned him respect from operators across the political spectrum. Therefore, when I read his piece disagreeing with my predictions on the future of Internet gambling, I took it to heart.
Norm wrote that he doesn’t share my “optimistic” assessment that the Office of Legal Counsel (OLC), under Attorney General Jess Sessions, is unlikely to reverse OLC’s 2011 opinion. This memo, which clarified that the Wire Act of 1961 applied only to sports betting and opened the door for states to legalize Internet gambling within their borders.
June 20, 2017
June 13, 2017