Just yesterday, the Restoration of America’s Wire Act was reintroduce by Republican Congressman Jason Chaffetz to try again to ban online gaming from taking place in the United States. With online poker taking place in New Jersey, Nevada and Delaware, plus states currently working on legalization of the option, the bill would put a stop to the activity if passed.
The first version of this bill was introduced into legislation last year and this time around, opponents of online gaming are hoping to see the bill pass into legislation. The bill would amend the 1961 Wire Act which was changed in 2011 to only include sports betting, opening up online gaming to individual states who decided to legalize the option. The RAWA would exclude all gaming except horse racing and fantasy sports. Not only would casino and poker gaming be affected but lottery ticket sales would also be affected, which would hurt additional states than just the three that offer online gaming within the US.
Chaffetz stated that it was wrong of the decision for online gaming was made by a small group of attorneys and that the decision to legalize online gambling should be made in Congress. The Representative stated that there are some people who want to see online gaming and there are some who want to see a carve-out for poker. His message to those is that if online gaming is good, then introduce a bill and pass it.
In a report by the ReviewJournal, Chaffetz is quoted as stating he plans on a full push for the bill and is considering a hearing that would specifically discuss how the online gaming industry has started to target children by using popular characters such as the Wizard of Oz on free play sites. Chaffetz says that he is not persuaded that online gambling can shield young people from taking part or be confined.
With the legislation, Representative Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii has sponsored the bill alongside Chaffetz. Co-sponsors include an additional six members of the Republican House including Lamar Smith (Texas), Trent Franks (Arizona), Steve King (Iowa), Charles Dent (Pennsylvania), George Holding (North Carolina) and Randy Forbes (Virginia).
Many feel that Sheldon Adelson is the driving force behind the push to stop online gambling from taking place within the US. When asked about the influence by Adelson, Chaffetz stated that no one person is pushing the movement though Adelson is an active player. He continued by stating that he is glad Adelson is in support of the bill and glad he is agreement as an opponent of the option.
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