RAWA Hearing is Every Bit as Insane as You Thought it Would Be
The Restoration of America’s Wire Act (RAWA) had its day before the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigations and the results were every bit as insane as you might have imagined.
Anti-online gambling members of Congress used the hearing to air out a litany of complaints against online gambling that ranged from unwarranted to just plain crazy.
On the unwarranted side of the argument were claims that states that don’t want online gambling need to be protected from spillover from states that do allow it.
This argument conveniently overlooks technology that’s already in place in Nevada, Delaware and New Jersey to prevent online gambling from crossing state lines, but RAWA supporters don’t seem too concerned about logic.
On the just plain crazy side of the argument was Stop Predatory Gambling director Les Bernal. Bernal whose testimony included claims that online gambling is designed to both cheat and exploit citizens, as well as claims that it is financially damaging to state budgets.
Michael Fagan, a colleague of Bernals from Stop Predatory Gambling, followed up with the outlandish claim that government cannot effectively police large-scale online gambling. Fagan’s argument conveniently omits the experience of dozens of countries that somehow manage to regulate online gambling quite nicely.
On the other side of the argument was former GOP Congressman Ron Paul who framed the argument as a states rights issue saying:
Nowhere in the United States Constitution is Congress given the authority to criminalize online gambling. Instead, the question of whether online, or any other type of gambling, should be legal is one of the many areas ‘reserved to the states’ under the Tenth Amendment.
The good news is that despite support from a few Shel Adelson pets, it’s not likely that RAWA will ever be passed into law and the whole event was simply a show.
It was, as Jon Peters said quite elegantly on Twitter yesterday, as a case of the ignorant leading the blind.