Congress Eyes Online Gambling Ban (Again)
Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) (pictured above) is the Congressman and is trying to turn back the clock on internet gambling by turning the Restoration of the American Act (RAWA) into law.
If passed by both houses of Congress, RAWA would roll back the so-called Christmas Gift the DOJ handed the igaming industry back in 2011 when it put the power to regulate igaming in the hands of the States.
Chaffetz told reporters he thought that if Congress wanted to legalize online gaming, it would have done so by passing legislation of its own.
The Utah politician also suggested that online gambling industry is targeting children. Without offering any specifics to back up his argument, Chaffetz had this to say to a reporter from the Las Vegas Journal-Review:
I don’t see any way that technology can just alone solve this problem. It’s so easy to bypass. You get a smart 14-year-old in here…
Coincidentally, Chaffetz’ new found interest in protecting children from the evils of online gambling comes just days ahead after billionaire casino owner Shel Adelson paid a visit to Capitol Hill.
Adelson, who is also interested in stopping online gambling, spent millions of dollars supporting GOP candidates in the last election cycle in was, seemingly, looking for some payback in the form of RAWA.
In another interesting coincidence, Chaffetz will be in Las Vegas this weekend attending a political conference. While in Sin City, Chaffetz will be staying at the Adelson-owned Palazzo hotel and casino. (Friendship is a pretty cool thing, right?)
Chaffetz brushed off any suggestions of a quid pro quo by portraying Adelson as just another civic-minded, anti-gambling crusader like himself:
He is an active player. I’m glad he is supporting our bill. You have active people on both sides of this issue. There is a lot on the line and I’m glad he agrees with me on this one.
Chaffetz will, no doubt, earn a pat on the head from Adelson for his efforts in rolling back online gambling laws, but passing any Bill through the current Congress will be a challenge.
Other versions of RAWA have been introduced in the past and quickly fizzled out. The current Congress is not expected to be particularly productive and is more concerned with bigger issues such as rolling back health care reform and sealing off US borders from immigrants.
Regardless, Chaffetz can sleep easy knowing he’s keeping a billionaire casino owner happy.