2 Documents Critical To Credibility Of House RAWA Hearing

Any Credible Congressional Hearing On RAWA Must Include These Two Documents

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Reports indicate that the House Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigations will hold a hearing on March 5th for the Sheldon Adelson-backed Restoration of America’s Wire Act.

The members of the subcommittee have the opportunity to promote reasoned discussion of an issue that carries substantial economic implications and 10th Amendment considerations.

But to promote such discussion – as opposed to simply appearing to advance the personal agenda of a major GOP financial supporter – two critical documents must be a part of the hearing.

“The Original Intent of the Wire Act and Its Implications for State-based Legalization of Internet Gambling”

What it is

A paper authored by Michelle Minton and published by the UNLV Center For Gaming Research in September 2014.

In under 10 pages, Minton provides the proper historical context surrounding the introduction and passage of the WIre Act. Minton also concisely articulates how the Wire Act evolved over time in response to the growth of online gambling.

Why it matters

If your intent is to discuss restoring the Wire Act, it’s imperative to understand what the original intent of the act was.

Minton’s research pushes back against a number of the assertions undergirding RAWA:

  • Minton shows that that the original intent of the Wire Act was to only cover sports betting. That’s critical, as it means any bill that moves the Wire Act beyond sports betting would not be “restoring” the law, but effectively writing new federal gambling law.
  • Minton illustrates how the DoJ position of the Wire Act’s applicability to online gambling shifted over time, and not in a single decision in 2011 as RAWA supporters claim.
  • Minton explains the process and justification behind the DoJ’s most recent opinion regarding the Wire Act and online gambling, removing the misleading layer of politicization that has been placed on top of the opinion.

Read the paper here.

“New Jersey Internet Gaming One Year Anniversary – Achievements to Date and Goals for the Future”

What it is

A seven-page letter authored in January 2015 by David Rebuck, the Director of New Jersey’s Division of Gaming Enforcement.

In the letter, Director Rebuck provides a comprehensive, frank survey of New Jersey’s experience with regulated online gambling during the first year of operation.

Why it matters

Hundreds of thousands of customers made hundreds of millions of dollars in wagers at New Jersey’s regulated online casinos in 2014.

And the state’s regulatory apparatus for gambling is considered one of the toughest and most thorough in the world.

That means what Director Rebuck has to say about regulated online gambling is the most recent, relevant and accurate testimony available on the matter.

And Rebuck is definitive on several key misperceptions frequently raised by RAWA supporters:

  • On general system integrity: The DGE indicates that New Jersey regulations have “raised [the] standards” for the international industry at large and that there “have been no major infractions or meltdowns or any systematic regulatory failures that would make anyone doubt the integrity of operations.”
  • On identity / age verification: The DGE has found “no evidence that underage individuals have been able to establish accounts.”
  • On financial monitoring: The DGE “has a financial team that is currently auditing to 100%” and is in continued communication with the US Dept of Treasury regarding the issue of AML safeguards.

Rebuck’s testimony makes it clear that the speculative harms suggested by opponents of regulated online gambling have not come to pass in a controlled, auditable environment spanning a sizeable amount of individuals and transactions.

Read the letter here.

- Chris is the publisher of OnlinePokerReport.com. Grove also serves as a consultant to various stakeholders in the regulated market for online gambling in the United States.
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