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Republican Attorneys General Urge Trump/Pence to Ban Online GamblingPublished December 5, 2016 by Elana K
Ten Republican U.S. state-level attorneys general recently sent a letter to Mike Pence and the Trump transition team reviving the mission of RAWA, which calls for a federal ban of online gambling.
Ten Republican U.S. state-level attorneys general recently sent a letter to Mike Pence and the Trump transition team reviving the mission of RAWA, the Restoration of America's Wire Act. While RAWA failed to receive approval earlier this year, this letter has reincarnated its mission, which is to overturn the 2011 Department of Justice (DOJ) ruling that declared the United States’ 1961 Wire Act to be applicable only to sports betting and not to other forms of online gambling.
Under the DOJ ruling, three states have legalized online gambling in the past three years; New Jersey, Nevada, and Delaware. Repealing the ruling would essentially ban all forms of online gambling at a federal level, including those states that have already regulated it.
Who’s behind it?
It is rumored that the text of the letter was written by lobbyists from Sheldon Adelson’s Las Vegas Sands Corp. Adelson is probably the biggest opponent of online gambling, and was the driving force behind RAWA. But the bill faced serious opposition from various legislators, who claimed it trampled on the rights of individual states. Adelson was rumored to have given up his pushing, but this letter paints a different picture.
Rich Muny, VP of Poker Players Alliance, was quite blunt in his criticism of both the letter and the Republican attorneys general who signed it. “This letter if very disappointing,” he commented. “Trump/Pence and the GOP ran on a platform of limited government, rights of states...Yet one of the FIRST things we see is a push by ten Republican state attorneys general to reward megadonor Sheldon Adelson with a crony capitalism bill that usurps the states with a big government federal ban on state-licensed Internet poker.”
Muny also urged the poker community to let their state officials know that they “demand the right to play,” directing players to the PPA’s website which contains pre-written letters that can be sent to Congress and the president.