RAWA Gets Second Hearing for DecemberPublished November 9, 2015 by Elana K
A second hearing for RAWA, the Restoration of America’s Wire Act, has been scheduled for December 9.
Online gambling opponents are hopeful as a second hearing for RAWA, the Restoration of America’s Wire Act, has been scheduled for December 9 by the House of Representatives.
RAWA is a bill that would restore America’s Wire Act, which prohibits the online transmitting of “any bet or wager, or information assisting in the placing of any bet or wager.” The Wire Act was passed in 1961 (before the internet was even created) and it was interpreted to mean that there was a blanket ban on online gambling. However, a 2011 ruling by the Department of Justice said that the Wire Act only applies to sports betting, not to other forms of wagering.
What Would It Mean if RAWA Gets Passed?
RAWA seeks to reinterpret the 2011 reading of the Wire Act, which would make the Wire Act revert back to its original meaning (a meaning that was created before the actual internet). Practically, RAWA would see a federal ban placed on online gambling, which would force the three states that have already legalized it to shut down operations. It would also put the kaibosh on the many other states currently considering legislation.
Who Backs RAWA?
RAWA was introduced to Congress by Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), and is strongly backed by Sheldon Adelson, a land-based casino tycoon who created the Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling.
Chaffetz recently campaigned for the position of House Speaker, but canceled his candidacy when Rep. Paul Ryan expressed interest. This was viewed as good news by online gambling supporters, who did not want to see an online gambling opponent as Speaker of the House.
Online Gambling Supporters Fight Back
When news of the second hearing of RAWA broke, the Poker Players Alliance was quick to issue a call of action, tweeting “Will need everyone to make their voice heard #nopokerban”