While RAWA seems to be a thing of the past, a new bill was quietly introduced last week that could bring about the same end result, a ban of online gambling in the United States. On the 21st of September, Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton quietly filed a new bill, known as S. 3376, within the Senate which was read two times before being referred to the Committee on the Judiciary. This means the measure is now eligible to be debated as well as voted on.
It was the Poker Players Alliance who first reported on the new bill which seeks 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 issues by the federal government lawyers.’
The bill states that the memorandum opinion from September 2011 from the Assistant Attorney general of the Criminal Division of the Department of Justice, will have no force or effect for the purposes of interpreting section 5362(10) of title 31 of the United States Code. This is referring to the Department of Justice opinion from 2011 in which the 1961 Wire At was reinterpreted to apply only to sports betting. This allowed individual states to decide if they wanted to legalize poker or casino wagering online within their borders.
The bill filed by Cotton would reverse the decision by the DOJ and do what RAWA was created for as well as potentially expand the Wire Act to be able to stay on track with the industry as it changes.
For now, the measure has not been written yet but does have a title and placeholder within the judiciary committee. Gambling proponents must now wait and see if the measure gains any footing and what exactly it entails once the actual content has been written.
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