South Carolina senator Lindsey Graham has tried to slip in an online gambling ban into the Senate Appropriations Bill, using the language contained in the Restoration of America's Wire Act as an addendum.
Graham slipped the verbiage into the bill, which would effectively make online gambling illegal throughout the United States, even though a handful of states have legalized the activity.
The language in the Appropriations bill read: "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.'"
RAWA has been heavily pushed by Las Vegas Sands Owner Sheldon Adelson, who donates heavily to Republican candidates that back his views on gambling and the economy. The bill itself has gone nowhere since it was introduced, resulting in the necessity to go about getting the law passed in a subversive way.
The bill has a number of opponents, who claim that the Commerce Clause in the US Constitution does not give Congress the right to regulate gambling within state borders. If such a law were to be passed, it would almost certainly face a legal challenge by a state such as New Jersey, whose online gambling business is worth hundreds of millions of dollars each year.
Casino Listings will update this story as more developments arise.