Adelson-Backed RAWA Online Gambling Bills Stall in Congress

CongressSince their introduction back in March 26, 2014 the Restoration of Americas Wire Act (RAWA) bills introduced in the Senate by Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and the US House of Representatives by Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) the legislation has failed to gain any serious momentum, and by and large has been mostly forgotten outside of people who follow the iGaming industry closely.

H.R. 4301

The last action on the House version, H.R. 4301, occurred on April 16 when it was referred to the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigations.

Furthermore, the bill still only has its nine original co-sponsors:

  • Rep. Gabbard, Tulsi [D-HI-2]*
  • Rep. Matheson, Jim [D-UT-4]*
  • Rep. Smith, Lamar [R-TX-21]*
  • Rep. Jordan, Jim [R-OH-4]*
  • Rep. Franks, Trent [R-AZ-8]*
  • Rep. Holding, George [R-NC-13]*
  • Rep. Wolf, Frank R. [R-VA-10]*
  • Rep. Lankford, James [R-OK-5]*
  • Rep. Cleaver, Emanuel [D-MO-5]*

S. 2159

The Senate version, S. 2159, has seen even less movement, as it was read twice and referred to the Committee of the Judiciary the day it was introduced, March 26.

Like the House version of RAWA, no senator has added their name to the original list of co-sponsors which includes:

  • Sen. Lee, Mike [R-UT]*
  • Sen. Ayotte, Kelly [R-NH]*
  • Sen. Feinstein, Dianne [D-CA]*

New online gambling legislation draft

A new online gambling bill is starting to get some mention in Congress, as a bill that would ban most forms of online gambling with the notable exception of online poker has supplanted the dual RAWA bills in the headlines.

The new bill which was first reported on and posted by Jon Ralston (and purportedly written by Caesars Entertainment) is still searching for a sponsor and co-sponsors, so at this time it is little more than a proposal, and has not been officially introduced.

According to Steve Tetreault, the Washington Bureau Chief for Stephens Media, you can pretty much cross Nevada Senators Dean Heller and Harry Reid off the list of sponsors.

Heller told Tetreault, “It’s not a bill draft that I anticipate at this point that (Caesars) is expecting myself or Senator Reid to (sponsor),” while Kristen Orthman, a Reid spokesperson told Tetreault Caesars “is operating on (its) own. We had no idea where this draft came from and learned of it through the media.”

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