New Anti-iGambling Bill Introduced to US SenateSeptember 27, 2016 12:38 pm
After unsuccessful attempts to pass the Restoration of America’s Wire Act (RAWA), a new anti-online gambling bill (S.3376) has been introduced to the US Senate by Senator Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas), a friend of billionaire casino mogul Sheldon Adelson. Co-sponsors of the bill also includes two longtime supporters of RAWA, namely Senators Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Lindsey Graham (R-S. Carolina).
The exact wording of S.3376 is unknow because the bill has yet to be drafted and currently has just a title and placeholder lodged with the judiciary committee. Nevertheless, it is clear that it attacks the Department of Justice’s 2011 reinterpretation of the Wire Act, with a short description of the bill on the Congressional website stating the following :
“[S.3376 is] a bill to ensure the integrity of laws enacted to prevent the use of financial instruments for funding or operating online casinos are not undermined by legal opinions not carrying the force of law issued by Federal Government lawyers.”
Senate bill S.3376 was introduced quietly by Senator Tom Cotton on September 21, with the Poker Players Alliance keeping an eye on proceedings and subsequently concluding that S.3376 is a “reaffirmation of prohibition on funding of unlawful internet gambling,” and ultimately seeks to impose a federal ban on internet gambling across the US.
So far three US states have launched online gambling industries since 2013, including Nevada, Delaware, and New Jersey, and in the coming weeks Pennsylvania lawmakers are also set to weigh the possibility of setting up an industry of their own. Sheldon Adelson own the Sands Bethlehem casino in Pennsylvania, and has threatened to slash investment in the resort should online gambling legislation move forward in the state. As Sands Bethlehem CEO Mark Juliano commented recently:
“We’re certainly not going to continue to make a commitment to reinvest if they follow through with this.”