This week Florida Senator Marco Rubio introduced the Restoration of America's Wire Act bill that would effectively ban online gambling in the United States, a bill supported by a major donor of his. Today he spent time denying that he is that donor's shill.
The RAWA bill is supported by Las Vegas Sands CEO Sheldon Adelson, who is a staunch anti-online gambling advocate. Rubio told a town hall group in New Hampshire (where he is campaigning for the US presidency and will need a lot of donations to make it happen) that his support for the bill is not due to the cash that Adelson wields.
“People buy into my agenda. I don’t buy into theirs. When I run for office, I tell people where I stand … My stands are not influenced by my contributors; I hope my stands influence my contributors," Rubio said.
Rubio pointed out that he has been against the expansion of gambling for quite some time and he commented on internet gambling, saying: “Vegas is Las Vegas. They have a right in Las Vegas to have any gambling they want. They have laws. They have legislators. They can vote on what they want or don’t want. In Florida, I have a long history of opposing expansion of gambling."
"When you talk about online gambling, that comes into Florida. That is potentially people, including young people, who are going to go online and gamble and lose money. I just don’t believe that’s the right approach for our country.”
The bill's co-sponsor Senator Lindsey Graham is also a major recipient of Adelson's political contributions, having met with the billionaire several times leading up to his attempts to ban online gambling.
Casino Listings will update this story as more developments arise.