Tale of the Tape: Who Opposed Adelson’s Federal Online Gambling Ban

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The reasons are varied, and their opposition doesn’t necessarily translate into support of legal online gambling (particularly at the federal level) but Sheldon Adelson’s attempts to ram through a federal online gambling has sparked a number of groups to speak out in opposition to his efforts. With the American Gaming Association (AGA) withdrawing from the online gambling debate, the advocates of online gambling are now being led by the Poker Players Alliance (PPA), with some help from a newly formed group (created by iGaming friendly AGA members like Caesars and MGM) called the Coalition for Consumer Online Protection, or C4COP for short. Also speaking out against a federal online gambling throughout the year were several groups ranging from the Fraternal Order of Police, to political groups like the Democratic Governors Association, the National Conference of State Legislatures, and the North American Association of State & Provincial Lotteries. Most of these groups have lined up in opposition to a federal online gambling ban because their states, or member states, have passed online gaming bills. In Congress, Representative Joe Barton (R-TX) continues to be the online poker champion, although Barton’s proposed bill would make online gambling illegal while legalizing online poker. Here is a look at the other individuals and groups that came out in opposition to Sheldon Adelson’s RAWA in 2014. April 28, 2014: FreedomWorks Among 10 Groups Opposing RAWA When it comes to political power on the Republican side of the aisle few groups can match FreedomWorks, and the group, led by former Speaker of the House Dick Armey, has been quite critical of Adelson’s attempted online gambling prohibitions. In April, FreedomWorks was one of 10 signatories of a letter sent to Congress opposing RAWA.
Joe Jansen, Alliance for Freedom
Steve Pociask, President, American Consumer Institute
Michelle Minton, Fellow, Competitive Enterprise Institute
Matt Kibbe, President, FreedomWorks
Coley Jackson, President, Freedom Action
Carrie Lukas, Managing Director, Independent Women’s Forum
Andrew Langer, President, Institute for Liberty
Tom Giovanetti, President, Institute for Policy Innovation
Eli Lehrer, President, R Street Institute
David Williams, President, Taxpayer Protection Alliance More evidence of FreedomWorks opposition to gambling bans can be found here and here, and evidence of their support of online gambling regulation can be found here. August 22, 2014: Georgia lottery has their say This summer the Georgia Lottery Corporation ramped up their opposition to a federal online gambling ban. Georgia is one of three states currently selling lottery tickets online, and in a letter sent to a US House attorney, GLC head Debbie Dlugolenski Alford, stated a ban would have negative consequences for the state’s lottery to the tune of $39 million. Dlugolenski Alford called online sales: October 6, 2014: New Jersey chimes in When talk of RAWA potentially being brought up the New Jersey Tourism, Gaming and the Arts Assembly Committee passed a resolution (which had been sitting untouched since June 9th) calling on Congress to, “oppose S.2159 and H.R.4301 which would prohibit states from authorizing and conducting Internet gaming.” While more of a symbolic measure, the resolution did get its point across as it garnered some public attention. November 13, 2014: PA lawmaker introduces resolution opposing RAWA A month after new Jersey’s gesture, Pennsylvania State Representative Mike Sturla introduced a similar measure, a House Resolution calling on Congress to vote against any bill seeking to ban online gambling at the federal level. November 16, 2014: Ron Paul’s blistering editorial As the Lame Duck session neared, one of the biggest names in politics, former Texas Congressman Ron Paul, decided to go on the offensive against RAWA, penning a blistering editorial on his Ron Paul Insitute website. Paul called RAWA crony capitalism at its worst and made a number of accusations regarding the motives of Adelson and the people perceived to be doing his bidding in Congress: November 20, 2014: 12 Conservative/Libertarian groups join the fray On November 20th a coalition of 12 conservative groups including the ultra-powerful Americans for Tax Reform sent a letter to the leadership of Congress voicing their “strong concerns” over the Restoration of America’s Wire Act bills.
Grover Norquist, President Americans for Tax Reform
Larry Hart, Director of Government Relations, American Conservative Union
Steve Pociask, President American Consumer Institute
John Tate, President Campaign for Liberty
Lawson Bader, President, Competitive Enterprise Institute
Andrew Langer, President, Institute for Liberty
Gary Johnson, Honorary Chairman, Our America Initiative
David Williams, President, Taxpayers Protection Alliance
Katie McAuliffe, , Executive Director, Digital Liberty
Jeff Mazzella, President, Center for Individual Freedom
Tom Giovanetti, President, Institute for Policy Innovation
Andrew F. Quinlan, President, Center for Freedom and Prosperity With the addition of Norquist to the rolls of RAWA opponents many felt the bill had little chance to pass. December 9, 2014: Two more politicians publicly oppose online gambling ban While the $1.1 trillion CRomnibus federal spending bill was being debated, Representatives Jared Polis (R-CO) and Steve Cohen (R-TN) sent a signed letter to the leaders on the appropriations committees in both the House and the senate, urging them to keep RAWA out of the bill. Neither representative is known for taking a vocal stance on this issue before, so it will be interesting to see if they continue to fight for online gambling (or at least oppose any calls for a ban) in 2015. Previous Post Next Post sheldon adelson About Steve Ruddock Steve Ruddock is a longtime member of the online gambling industry. He covers the regulated US online casino and poker industries for variety of publications, including OnlinePokerReport.com, PlayNJ.com, USPoker.com, and USA Today.

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