Huffington Post: Adelson-Backed Bill Splits Republican Party

Written by:
Gilbert Horowitz
Published on:
Huffington Post: Adelson-Backed Bill Splits Republican Party

Huffington Post on Thursday night cast doubt on the passage of Restore America’s Wire Act (RAWA), a Sheldon Adelson-backed bill, following a hearing before the House Judiciary subcommittee on Wednesday. 

Adelson is one of the GOP’s biggest donors but many Republicans are against the legislation.

From the Huffington Post:

Even with Adelson's outsized influence, Wednesday's hearing cast fresh doubts on RAWA's chance of success, as lawmakers from both parties expressed concerns that the bill may force Internet gaming offshore, where shady websites operate with virtually no regulation. Other members worried that RAWA trampled the rights of states to regulate online gaming within their borders."

"States should be allowed to decide this question for themselves, and we should not take any action that would overturn such state laws," said Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.), ranking member of the Judiciary Committee.

Texas Republican Ted Poe warned that a sweeping ban on Internet gaming could create a black market for online gambling, much like Prohibition created a black market for alcohol.

Apparently bowing to those Republicans bringing up the concerns over state rights, RAWA sponsors Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) argued that their bill protects said rights by preventing any gambling within a state’s borders.

"It's important for states such as Utah and Hawaii, where we have no gaming, to have the ability to protect ourselves from something that we would not like to see within our borders," said Chaffetz, citing the only two U.S. states that prohibit all forms of gambling.

The next steps for Chaffetz and other RAWA supporters are to schedule a markup of the bill, then vote it out of committee and send it to the full House.  It remains to be seen whether the bill will garner enough votes.  Some Democrats, such as Dianne Feinstein, support the Adelson-backed legislation.

- Gilbert Horowitz,

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