Harry Reid Forecasts Anti-Online Gambling Drive In 2015December 18, 2014 4:38 pm
The Restoration of America’s Wire Act (RAWA) may have failed to gain traction in 2014, but next year the bill is likely to once again come onto the agenda as its seeks to introduce a blanket ban of online gambling activities across the United States. The controversial piece of legislation has also picked up an important ally in the guise of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who expects the Republicans to push for RAWA after they gain control of the House and Senate.
In spite of denying any gentleman’s agreement with Adelson, the 75 year-old Senator from Nevada’ thoughts now seem closely aligned with that of Sheldon Adelson, leading to speculation Adelson may have offered Reid a deal in which he would refrain from funding the 2016 election campaign of Reid’s Republican opponent, in return for Reid adopting an anti-online position. Although Reid has vehemently denied such claims, there appears more than just a hint of familiarity in Reid’s latest comments on the issue, in which he stated:
“I think the proliferation of gambling on the Internet is not good for our country. I think it is an invitation to crime. I think it is hard to control for crime when you’ve got brick-and-mortar places, let alone something up in the sky someplace, and it is very bad for children.”
Interestingly, Reid further indicated he was prepared to support a poker carve-out if necessary, but even this comment did little to allay concerns amongst the poker community, especially with Reid further stating that his ultimate goal still remained to see the Restoration of America’s Wire Act restored to its original interpretation. Not surprisingly, the Poker Players Alliance (PPA) has since withdrawn its earlier support for Reid, accusing him on not understanding the online gambling business properly. As PPA Executive Director John Pappas, explains:
“We as a poker community need to recognize that the success of poker often is built on other forms of gaming. If you cut off all other games in the US market, investment and interest would shrink considerably. We’re going to fight tooth and nail to protect the interests of poker players, but poker-only in the US might not be a sustainable model to benefit players, long term.”
If New Jersey’s battle against the Federal government to allow in-state sports betting is anything to go by, then any future attempts to introduce a federal ban on online gambling can also expect to receive formidable resistance from the regulated states of Nevada, Delaware, and New Jersey.