RAWA Lobbying Picking up Speed

Competitive Enterprise Institute writer Michelle Minton has written a piece in The Hill blog that lobbying activities in support of and in opposition to the Restoration of America's Wire Act bill are heating up in the US capital.

"Behind closed doors, the push for Congress to vote on the bill before adjourning for summer recess has intensified and the tactics [have] become more extreme. And as usual, Sands Chairman Sheldon Adelson, one of RAWA’s most prominent supporters, is lurking in the background," Minton wrote in The Hill.

Minton says that that the National Association of Convenience Stores is backing RAWA, and hired the lobbyist who wrote the bill and worked for Sheldon Adelson's Las Vegas Sands. The shops want to protect their monopoly on lottery ticket sales that they carry in most states, and the group wants to convince lawmakers that most states cannot effectively regulate online gambling.

Ms. Minton also is reporting that the group Stephoe & Jonson is sending partner Douglas Kantor around Capitol Hill to show a video with a person using a VPN to unlawfully access the Georgia lottery. This video she says though is "straight out of the Adelson “scare them with half-truths” playbook", and does not actually present any factual views from states that have legalized online gambling, where betting access is much tighter and using a standard VPN doesn't work.

Concluding her op-ed Minton writes: "If lawmakers truly desire to protect consumers and uphold the constitutionally protected state powers, they should let states decide for themselves if and how to regulate the activity. As the last few years have demonstrated, the technology is available and states are motivated to play by the rules."

Those interested in reading Ms. Minton's piece can do so here.

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