Republicans Not Siding with Adelson on Federal iGaming Ban

by Jim Hall

Sheldon AdelsonNew survey shows that republicans are not on the side of Sheldon Adelson to see the Restoration of Americas Wire Act come to pass in the United States, banning online gambling across the board.

For several years now, online casino gambling proponents have had to fight to avoid seeing a federal ban put in place, banning the activity across the United States. Sheldon Adelson is the CEO of the Las Vegas Sands who wants nothing less than a federal ban to stop online gambling activities from taking place in the US, from casino to poker gaming. Adelson has spent countless amounts of money as well as time trying to see the Restoration of America’s Wire Act take place, yet thankfully he has been unsuccessful.

Many feel that conservatives are in favor of the overall ban but that appears to not be the case. In National Harbor, Maryland, the Conservative Political Action Conference recently took place at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center. During the conference, the Institute for Liberty conducted a survey which showed that those in attendance are not in favor of Adelson’s plans.

Opposed to Federal Ban

For the most part, individuals want to leave the decision of online gambling up the states. Out of ten participants in the survey, nine said they were opposed to any efforts that would see the federal government overturning state laws in regards to online gaming. 88% see the legislation known as RAWA as cronyism.

Basically, if RAWA were enacted, online gambling would be banned across the United States. Already, New Jersey, Nevada and Delaware offer online gaming options. Several states are considering legislation this year so this number could grow. If a federal ban were put in place, it would undo the decisions by the individual states to offer the activity, something that many are not in favor of.

RAWA

The RAWA bill was introduced by Senator Lindsey Graham and Representative Jason Chaffetz and would change the Wire Act of 1961 back to its original state. The Department of Justice decided to make a change to the Wire Act to meet with today’s times, as the internet was not invented at the time the Act was created.

Not only would the change affect those states that already offer online casino gaming, but there are states that provide online lottery ticket sales as well. Such states include Illinois and Georgia. Representative Jody Hice pointed out during a congressional hearing that six states would be affected as they offer online lottery ticket sales.

Several Opposed

Reportedly, there are several conservative organizations that are in opposition to Adelson’s plans. The Institute for Liberty, American Conservative Union and the Competitive Enterprise Institute have all come forward and shown their opposition to the measure. Despite the fact that the legislation has opposition, Adelson seems to be showing no signs of stopping his efforts to stop online gambling from taking place.

Adelson has even went so far as to possibly be getting rid of his Pennsylvania casino due to online gambling. Pennsylvania is actually considering legislation today that would see online gambling become a reality in the state. Over the weekend, it was announced that the Sands Bethlehem Casino was going up for sale. Reportedly, MGM Resorts International is interested in the gaming venue.

It seems that Adelson might be considering the sale due to the possibility that online gaming is imminent. However, this is of course just speculation. It will be interesting to watch and see what happens with the possible sale of the venue as well as if legislators decide to move forward with a bill to legalize iGaming in the state.