RAWA Language Attached To U.S. Senate's Spending BillMay 17, 2016 10:17 am
Despite past failures, anti-online gambling politicians are not ready to give up on seeing a federal law passed banning online gambling across the country and have now tacked their demands onto an appropriations bill in the Senate. The move orchestrated by Sen. Lindsey Graham is similar to the one in which the UIGEA of 2006 was added to the SAFE Port Act before being signed off by President George W. Bush, and as it notes on Page 59 of the Senate Appropriations Committee spending bill:
“Internet Gambling: Since 1961, the Wire Act has prohibited nearly all forms of gambling over interstate wires, including the Internet. However, beginning in 2011, certain States began to permit Internet gambling. The Committee notes that the Wire Act did not change in 2011.”
Sen. Graham is a Committee member himself, and is believed responsible for the reference’s insertion into the important $56.3 million spending bill. While simply representing a declaration in its present form, the idea behind the move would seem to be to have the bill passed with the inclusion of pro-RAWA language, which could then be highlighted if the Restoration of America’s Wire Act receives another hearing in the future.
Whether or not the move is likely to succeed is dubious, and it is just as likely that when the bill is debated in Congress that the House Appropriations Committee chairman, Rep. John Culberson, will decide to have the anti-online gambling reference removed from the appropriations bill all together. As Dean Chambers explains in his insidesources article:
“Many grass-roots citizen groups are strongly against federally banning internet-based gambling within the states, and few members of Congress have shown support for the idea. The House of Representatives was created by the framers of the Constitution to be the body that represents the people most closely. It remains to be seen if the Congress will remember this in removing the RAWA language from the appropriations bill.”
However, Sheldon Adelson and his supporters are evidently trying to take advantage of a time in which politicians are more focused on elections by passing off the 43 word reference, and hoping that it may pass under most other politician’s radar. Fortunately, the Poker Players Alliance and the poker industry as a whole has become used to the tactics used by RAWA advocates over the years, and will now be drawing as much attention to the issue as possible.