US Online Gambling: Is the End of RAWA Near?

Published March 25, 2016 by Elana K

US Online Gambling: Is the End of RAWA Near?

According to a report from Gambling Compliance, Sheldon Adelson is going to redirecting his RAWA bill to focus on offshore, unlicensed online gambling sites, as opposed to online gambling in the US.

Good news is on the horizon for supporters of online gambling in the United States: according to a report from Gambling Compliance, the demise of RAWA, the Restoration of America’s Wire Act, is imminent. RAWA, a bill pushed by republican lobbyist and billionaire Sheldon Adelson, sought to ban online gambling at a federal level, and had online gambling supporters concerned for the better part of the last two years. Today, however, Adelson is reported to be abandoning his efforts and re-construing his bill completely, this time focusing on a federal ban against all forms of offshore, unlicensed online gambling.

Adelson’s new direction comes after RAWA faced serious opposition from various states and legislators, who claimed that the bill clearly trampled on the rights of individual states. Moreover, every time a RAWA hearing was held, RAWA supporters ended up making fools of themselves, with little real information to back any of their claims. Even one of Adelson’s staunchest supporters, Marco Rubio, confessed he would allow an exception for online poker should RAWA get passed.

While the new bill Adelson is reported to be working on sounds similar to the old one, it’s ramifications could be very different. By cracking down on offshore, unlicensed online gambling sites, the bill could call into focus the need for regulated online gambling within the US, something which many individual states are already considering and three of which have already done.

But officially, RAWA still exists, which has opposition leaders cautioning against celebrating too soon. Poker Players Alliance Vice President Rich Muny commented, “RAWA still exists, so this is no victory lap. We all need to keep up the pressure on lawmakers and ensure this does not end up sneaked in later on.”

Until an official statement is released from Adelson, online gambling supporters will have to hold their celebrations in check.

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