RAWA Facing Opposition
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know who Sheldon Adelson is, but we’ll recap anyway. Sheldon Adelson is the chairman and chief executive officer of the Las Vegas Sands Corporation. He’s 81 years old with a net worth of $30 billion dollars and is terrified of technology. Because of this, he opposes legalized online gambling.
He came up with the Restoration of America’s Wire Act, or RAWA, a proposal that would close the “loophole” that individual states are taking advantage of to legalize online gambling. He made it his personal mission to ensure that online gambling would fail, and he enlisted (or attempted to enlist) the help of various people in a position of power, including Texas Governor Rick Perry, Senator Harry Reid, and more. In this personal quest, he was not successful, and he lost nearly a quarter of his fortune, bringing his net worth from nearly $39 billion down to $30.4 billion as of December 2014. RAWA was shot down at the end of 2014.
We theorized that despite this, he wasn’t going to stop his quest, and indeed he hasn’t. He’s so bitter about the profits generated by websites and their no deposit promotions that he can’t compete with that he’s continuing his quest this year, and he’s enlisted even more help. The first step? Getting RAWA back in the discussion for 2015, which he’s done. However, the landscape is a little different this time around.
States have proven that online gambling generates decent numbers, and because of this, people aren’t exactly jumping at the chance to strike down online gambling proposals as quickly.
Several political groups have already voiced their hatred of the Restoration of America’s Wire Act proposal, including the American Conservative Union, the Taxpayers Protection Alliance, the Competitive Enterprise Institute, and the Campaign for Liberty. Their main complaint? The people behind RAWA, the withdrawal of state control over gambling, and the inclusion of certain things that could potentially benefit Sheldon Adelson.
Please, contain your shock at learning that RAWA could potentially be to Sheldon Adelson’s benefit. What did surprise us, though, is to learn what those exceptions were.
As mentioned earlier, Sheldon Adelson hates technology as a medium and considers online gambling a threat, and the exceptions prove that. You see, RAWA bans online gambling games like blackjack, poker, and other casino games. It doesn’t ban certain types of online gambling, like horse racing, sports betting, and fantasy sports, which we spoke about at length several weeks ago.
The groups were also quick to point out that Sheldon Adelson is overreaching as a businessman by working closely with Republicans to try and manipulate them into changing federal legislation.
Sheldon Adelson is going to face some stiff opposition if he wants to get RAWA passed in 2015.