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Manage episode 213661399 series 2407504
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A tweet was issued this weekend from Michelle Minton of the Competitive Enterprise Institute warning that Charlie Dent, Pennsylvania Republican Representative was planning new initiatives to pursue Congress to ban all online gambling activities in the US. A big spending bill is scheduled this coming week, so some are speculating that the proposed prohibitions will be attached to the bill. Minton tweeted, â??Alert: Rep. Dent will offer approps amendment to ban state-based internet gambling with a vote as early as next week.â?? Michelle Minton has been keeping a close eye on every move Dent makes with his attempts to pursue legislation to ban online gambling. Full details of what Dent plans on doing is not clear yet, but what we do know is that a sneak attack with RAWA will be attempted just like it was before. The facts have been alerted with pro-state rights and online gambling as well as opposition for the 1,000-page spending bill that will have to be approved and passed before the end of September. There has been many failed campaigns with resurrecting the online gambling market in the US, and hopefully this will be another. Enter the world of Sheldon Adelson, a billionaire casino mogul and Republican donor with a net worth of $34.8 billion. From the Las Vegas Sands of Nevada, to the Venetian Macao of Macua, Adelsonâ??s casinos are renowned the world over. However, innovation in the form of online gambling represents a clear and existential threat to this gaming empire. Will congressional Republicans stoop to blatant cronyism to preserve it? Restoration of Americaâ??s Wire Act (RAWA) is a piece of legislation that would extend the Federal Wire Act of 1961 to impose a federal ban on online gambling. Simultaneously, the bill would grant online activities like fantasy sports an exemption. Darryl Nirenberg, the author of RAWA, is a registered lobbyist for Adelsonâ??s company. In the years since its inception, RAWA has never advanced any further than receiving a few hearings. Currently, RAWA is stopped in Congress, but some fear that an amendment will be offered to the State Justice Commerce Appropriations bill in committee as soon as next week. In any case, usage of the term â??restorationâ?? in the legislationâ??s title is a misnomer, considering the Federal Wire Act of 1961 did not apply to the use of the Internet as a wagering medium. Michelle Minton, a fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, wrote a paper in 2014, detailing the original intent of the act, which was to combat the source of organized crimeâ??s revenueâ??namely bookkeeping on horseracing and sports gambling, utilizing the telephone and telegraph systems. This legislation represents a naked attempt to shield Sheldon Adelsonâ??s gambling industry from free market competition, wielding his considerable influence on Congress. In 2016, Adelson gave $5 million to support Donald Trump, and $40 million to Republican congressional candidates. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Congressman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) introduced the first version of RAWA in June of 2015. Senator Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) quickly followed suit that very next year, only one day after revelations came to light that Adelson gave $20 million to the Senate Leadership Fund, a super PAC with ties to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.). The Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling, an organization backed by Sheldon Adelson himself, has attempted to portray online gambling as negative and addictive, predictably offering RAWA as a solution to this non-existent problem. If RAWA was intended to cut down on addictive habits, it would not grant exemptions to fantasy sports, which incidentally have no impact on the market share of Adelsonâ??s casinos." READ: READ:

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