Congress members who are opposed to online gambling have tried repeatedly to have it banned, but have failed every time. Now they’re back with a new a two-year “study” bill as well as a moratorium.
Proposals banning online gambling have failed any traction in Congress, and have also met with significant backlash from the State lawmakers, prominent libertarian as well as conservative groups who see a Federal ban as being an infringement on state sovereignty.
Does a moratorium have a chance of succeeding in imposing a stealth ban? According to some sources at Capitol Hill, there is a proposal being offered in Congress that will impose a two-year moratorium preventing states from legalization of Internet gambling while a Federal study is being conducted. This would not interfere with the current online casino-style games that are already legal in Delaware, New Jersey, and Nevada, but it would place an obstruction on the legislative efforts that are currently underway in seven states who are considering to sign legislation legalizing the activity. It’s not clear if it would affect the lottery sales currently that are already legal in 13 states.
The probation for online gambling called RAWA, S 1668, Sheldon Adelson,s brainchild, who told Forbes in 2013 that he would do ‘whatever it takes’ to stop online gambling spreading. He has spend a considerable amount of money to get it banned, midterm elections he spend $5 million to the Congressional Leadership Fund, and about $20 million to groups that don't disclose their funding sources, this includes Crossroads GPS who has poured money into successful champaign s against Democratic Senators: Mark Begich (Ark.), Mary Landrieu (La, Mark Udall (Colo.), and Kay Hagan (N.C.), and still, Mr. Adelson was not able to convince leadership to attach a ban on the 2014 omnibus spending bill.
John Pappas, the executive director of Poker Players Alliance, said that a ban on internet gambling moratorium, is “nothing more that prohibition in sheep’s clothing, they are unable to get RAWA through the front door, so they are attempting to get it through the back door.
The GOP Congressional leadership should be aware of the opposition to RAWA at state and national level. The National Conference of State Legislatures, The National Governors Association, and The Fraternal Order of Police, all are strongly opposed to Federal Government usurping the states authority for the regulation of gambling within their borders.
The Conservative groups such as The Americans for Tax Reform have also opposed the bill for the same reasons. A two-year moratorium will most likely face similar opposition.
Mr Pappas said that a moratorium is more troubling for notion of states’ rights as well as the 10th Amendment, and would give certain favored states why have regulated iGaming on offer, and likely put the brakes on others who would try to provide consumer protections for citizens. He continued that a greater concern with regard to a moratorium that it will do nothing to halt the unregulated, unlicensed, overseas operators to be able to continuing flourishing in the U.S. marketplace. It only tells states they can’t exercise responsible oversight.”
Will a moratorium fare better in Congress? It’s unlikely that members will risk bogging down the legislative processes with an issue that has minimal support. On the other hand, the minimal support comes from a major GOP donor, and his right-hand man who said back in April that online gambling could be the gamin industry’s destruction.
A moratorium deserves to face the same type of opposition from the state’s interests, conservative and libertarian groups as a ban. A temporarily violation of the 10th amendment remains a violation and one that could probably cost states millions of dollars in revenues lost and open the door for Federal to meddle in controversial intrastate activities.