Just when you thought it was safe to ignore Sheldon Adelson again, one of his cronies may be trying to find a way to get RAWA passed despite not having majority support in Congress.
As reported at dailysurge.com, it appears that South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham may be trying to sneak RAWA friendly language into a Senate Appropriations bill.
While this language may seem harmless on the surface, it could lead to a backdoor passage of RAWA if lobbyists are not careful.
What's Exactly in the Bill?
The Departments of Commerce and Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill, 2017 has a brief statement regarding internet gambling inserted that may open the backdoor for RAWA to become law.
Below is the provision included in the bill:
“Internet Gambling.—Since 1961, the Wire Act has prohibited nearly all forms of gambling over interstate wires, including the Internet. However, beginning in 2011, certain States began to permit Internet gambling. The Committee notes that the Wire Act did not change in 2011.
The Committee also notes that the Supreme Court of the United States has stated that ‘criminal laws are for courts, not for the Government, to construe.'”
On the surface, this seems relatively harmless. It appears that the committee is issuing an opinion about the Wire Act.
It does not make online gambling illegal nor does it change the Wire Act. However, if you are to believe some, this language could be a precursor to the end of online gambling in the United States.
A Backdoor Path to Legalize RAWA?
Dailysurge.com provided an extended commentary on this matter on Monday, a commentary that iPoker supporters should pay attention to.
According to the commentary, they believe that the legislative language for RAWA will be "air dropped" into a conference report after the funding bill has been passed.
As they stated, "The legislative language will be buried in a giant conference report that will be presented to the House and Senate as a take-it-or-leave it proposition. Insiders use this trick when they want to get something passed that does not have majority support. They attach an unpopular special interest earmark to an appropriations bill in a way that makes it impossible for opponents to strip it out."
While such a proposition seems far-fetched, the first leg of such a play is presently in play. If the RAWA friendly language isn't stripped out of the funding bill, we might be in for a fight for online gambling come the Lame Duck Session.
Remember When We Said That RAWA Might Show Up During Lame Duck?
Last year when RAWA was officially declared dead for the third time, we pointed out that the Congressional Lame Duck session was coming at the end of 2016.
This type of backdoor legislation is something that would be a perfect tactic for the Lame Duck session and something that online poker proponents should not overlook.
Now is the time to combat this matter. If you support online poker, it is important that you contact your Representative and Senator and ask them to not vote for this bill with the Adelson earmark.
The Poker Players Alliance has lobbied for online poker for over a decade and this is one time where they will earn their pay.
If you're a member of the PPA, make sure to take part in any organized efforts against this bill and to also encourage PPA leadership to step up the pressure against this earmark.
While this may be another last-ditch effort to pass RAWA, if we just sit and ignore the matter, we may wake up in December to find that online poker has been outlawed.