It’s already a fact that online gambling is a tough market in the United States. A recent push to pass the Restoration of America’s Wire Act (RAWA) threatens to end online gambling completely. If passed, Sheldon Adelson, a billionaire casino magnate who owns many Las Vegas casino, protects the casino industry that’s led to his wealth and online casinos get driven out of business.
In November 2016, a group of Republican attorneys, including the attorney general in Nevada, sent a letter to Mike Pence asking him to take another look at RAWA. The act was introduced to the U.S. Congress in 2015 and is currently with the Senate Judiciary Committee.
RAWA takes the Federal Wire Act of 1961 and enhances it to ban many forms of online gambling, regardless of whether a state legalized it. States like Delaware, Nevada, and New Jersey that passed their own online casino laws would have to repeal them and ban all online casinos. Online sales of lottery tickets would also come to an end.
After paying $20 million to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s SuperPAC, a new version of RAWA hit the Senate. Reports say Sheldon Adelson is also tied to the bill’s origins and that one of his staff members wrote one of the original drafts. As a result, there is plenty of speculation about him using the bill to drive away any potential competition to his land-based casinos.
All eyes are on Washington D.C. to see if Republican control will help RAWA pass. President-elect Trump and Adelson are rumored to be long-time friends, so 2017 could be the year online gambling sees huge changes.