SALT LAKE CITY — In a move to preserve Utah's status as one of two states that prohibit all forms of gambling, the Utah Senate gave preliminary approval Wednesday to a bill to expressly prohibit Internet gambling in the state.
HB108, sponsored by Rep. Stephen Sandstrom, R-Orem, was introduced as a means to exempt the state from pending federal legislation to legalize Internet gambling.
Only Utah and Hawaii prohibit all forms of gambling.
Sen. John Valentine, R-Orem, said the prohibition is important because "once you allow one form of gambling, all forms of gambling are permitted in."
The societal costs associated with gambling are well-documented such as increases in drunken driving arrests and gambling addiction, said Valentine, Senate sponsor of the bill.
"HB108 protects Utah and its unique position where (gambling is) not allowed," he said.