RAWA Reintroduced to Congress
As we’ve been saying all along, it was only a matter of time before RAWA was reintroduced to Congress. After it failed to gain traction last year, it was expected to be retooled and reintroduced. However, it wasn’t Sheldon Adelson that reintroduced it to Congress.
Representative Jason Chaffetz of Utah has reintroduced the Restoration of America’s Wire Act. Not much has changed since last year – RAWA still aims to ban all forms of online gambling at a federal level – except horseracing and fantasy sports, of course. If it passes, all online gambling in Nevada, New Jersey, and Delaware would cease immediately, and any states that have legalized sales of lottery tickets online would have to stop.
Last time around, Representative Chaffetz presented the bill with Lindsey Graham, who’s currently considering making a run for presidency. This time, the bill is bi-partisan, and co-sponsored by Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii. Hawaii has no form of gambling, including land-based and lotteries.
The purpose of the Restoration of America’s Wire Act, just like last year, is to overturn the opinion of the Department of Justice, which stated in 2011 that only sports betting is prohibited over the Internet.
When asked about the bill, Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard said ““Congress has the responsibility to debate these regulations openly and should not allow bureaucrats to unilaterally change the law behind closed doors. Until that debate takes place, Congress must restore the long-standing interpretation of the Wire Act. The FBI and state Attorneys General from different parts of the country have raised multiple concerns about this new change. This bill restores protections against criminal activity which existed in the pre-2011 interpretation of the law.”
So, we’re back to almost exactly where we started. Another year, another round of bickering. Let’s step back a bit and look at the situation.
Last year, when RAWA was introduced, the bill was fairly new. The profitability of the venture, as well as their no deposit promotions, was completely unproven. No one had any idea how online gambling would fare, yet it still became legalized in three states. Immediately sensing that someone could actually compete with him, Sheldon Adelson immediately and tried to put a stop to it. One of the original supporters of the bill is making a run for the White House, which we’re probably going to elaborate on in an article in the very near future.
However, the tides have changed. States have shown exactly how profitable online gambling can be, how it fills the void created by under-performing land-based casinos, and how it’s not addicting. In our opinion, RAWA will have a long road ahead of it. Between the proven value of online gambling and the belief among Republicans that the RAWA interferes with state’s rights, the RAWA doesn’t seem like as big of a threat as it used to.