Anyone with an interest in the advancement of regulated online gambling in the United States just picked up a brand new set of friends, the Democratic Governors Association.

The group, which consists of 18 sitting State Governors, wrote a letter to top Senators and Congressmen urging them to block passage of the Restoration of America’s Wire Act (RAWA).

If passed into law RAWA, which is sponsored by Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Representative Jason Chavitz (R-Utah) would effectively ban all online gambling in the US. That’s not sitting well with State leaders who are looking at online gambling bills to help cover massive deficits in their budgets.

The Governors pulled no punches in their plea to halt RAWA saying:

Next week the U.S. House Committee on the Judiciary will be debating Sheldon Adelson’s bill, an ill-advised piece of legislation that would implement a sweeping nationwide ban on online gaming that would trump individual states’ ability to implement a well-regulated state based system.

Many politicians and gambling industry insiders consider RAWA to be a massive favor to billionaire casino owner Shel Adelson for his contributions to their campaigns.

Certainly it’s no coincidence that RAWA was introduced just days after Adelson paid a visit to Washington DC to chat with the newly elected GOP lawmakers he funded.

How much clout a group of Democratic Governors have with the GOP dominated House and Senate remains to be seen. That said, the Governors took pains to frame the issue in terms the Republicans are likely to be sympathetic towards: states rights and law and order stating:

This legislation would not only trample on states who currently have safe and regulated online gaming programs and lotteries in place, but also make for an unsafe, unregulated online environment and push players to dangerous black-market sites.

RAWA is due for hearing next week and is anything but a sure bet. After all, the current occupants of the House and Senate have not exactly established themselves as the most productive group of lawmakers the United States has ever seen.

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