Is RAWA #2 In The Works?

by Jim Hall

Sheldon AdelsonAfter the RAWA legislation was not well-received by legislators and online gambling in the United States remains an option, it seems a new measure is now in the works that could spell trouble for the iGaming industry.

Sheldon Adelson is a name that every online gambling proponent knows. The Las Vegas Sands CEO is known for being a major opponent of online gambling and has spent a great deal of money campaigning against the option in the United States. Having created his own group to fight the activity as well as help push RAWA legislation, Adelson has his hand in every area stirring the pot so to speak in order to put a stop to online gambling in the US.

It seems that Adelson has now found a way for a new measure to be filed that would work similar to RAWA and put a stop to iGaming. Using his money and clout, Adelson works with members of Congress to push forward his agenda. Right now, the focus in the US is the presidential election. So, Adelson knows that no one will be focused a second attempt at banning the activity.

Enter Senator Tom Cotton

Adelson seems to be friends with Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton who recently filed for a new bill to be created. The new bill is known as S.3376 and was introduced early last week on the 21st. It took no time for the bill to be read and referred to the Committee on the Judiciary. The website for Congress reads the following on the measure:

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.

The Poker Players Alliance was the first to find information on the filing by Cotton and took to the internet to discuss what was going on by the 23rd. The information provided for filing suggests that the bill will be similar to RAWA legislation. Last year and this year, RAWA was not able to move forward very far despite efforts by Representative Jason Chaffetz and Senator Lindsey Graham.

Cotton is also connected to the RAWA legislation. In 2015, Cotton was a co-sponsor of the measure. In 2016, Cotton is not affiliated in any way with a campaign or election group. He does however, have Adelson in his corner and will be able to use money and political ties to try and push the measure forward once it has been created.

A Second Version of RAWA?

Not much information has been revealed about the bill filed by Cotton. The PPA was able to find out that the bill does state the following:

Gambling bill

This is referencing the decision from 2011 of the Department of Justice in which the Wire Act of 1961 was changed to only cover sports betting. Casino and poker gaming were removed from the equation. This ruling by the DOJ made it possible for states to decide if they would create an online gambling industry within their borders. So far, Delaware, Nevada and New Jersey have done so. With this wording by the new bill, it seems that Cotton is trying to reverse this decision.

Gamblers will have to wait and see what happens as the bill has only been filed and does not have any meat on the bone so to speak. Cotton still has to create measure before a review or vote can take place.