More Hysteria Expected At RAWA House Hearing On December 9thDecember 4, 2015 2:59 pm
On December 9th, Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) will be holding a hearing on the Restoration of America’s Wire Act (RAWA) in front of the House Oversight Committee. As the bill’s chief sponsor, Chaffetz is hoping to advance his goal of having online gambling banned at a federal level stateside, a mission he shares with Sheldon Adelson and his heavily funded Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling (CSIG).
In keeping with the movement’s past approach, Chaffetz will be employing scare tactics in order to whip up hysteria against the perceived dangers of online gambling. If past actions are anything to go by, the fears that will be played upon during the hearing will include the possibility of online gambling resulting in an increase in money laundering, terrorism financing, and rampant gambling addiction, especially amongst underage players.
Naturally, the hearing has a suitably scaremongering title, which in this case is a variation on one of Adelson’s previous rhyming jingos that warned against the danger of having a casino in every home. Therefore, the anti-online gambling coalition has settled on a similar, if not rather uninspired title of “A Casino in Every Smartphone – Law Enforcement Implications.”
Interestingly, this is RAWA’s second hearing of 2015, with highlights from the first including professor John Kindt from the University of Illinois Law School describing online wagering as “the crack cocaine of gambling,” and warning that “online gambling cannot be regulated.” Observers can expect more out of touch claims from the upcoming hearing, including potential threats to the country’s national security, no doubt. In the meantime, it is worth reminding ourselves of the words of Parry Aftab, a cyberlaw specialist who attended the first hearing in March. As she explained at the time:
“I agree there are lots of problems. There are terrorists who are using online gambling and there’s money laundering going on, and there’s malicious code, but that is not happening in New Jersey, Delaware or Nevada. It is happening currently with many of the offshore gambling sites that are not covered by our laws.”