Poll: RAWA is violation of the Tenth Amendment and an example of crony capitalism
Online Poker Report

9 Out Of 10 Conservatives Agree: Adelson-Backed Federal Online Gambling Ban Is ‘Crony Capitalism’

Sheldon Adelson
A poll at the recently held Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) found that efforts by Las Vegas Sands CEO Sheldon Adelson to ban online gambling at the federal level are highly unpopular.

The numbers from CPAC on iGaming

The Institute for Liberty recently released the data from the high-profile conservative gathering that took place in February.

The IFL is a group whose mission is keeping government “from unnecessarily interfering in the daily lives of America’s entrepreneurs.”

Two of the questions posed to attendees had to do with online gambling. About 90 percent of respondents said they oppose efforts to ban state-regulated gambling. About the same number agreed that legislation to that end — the Restoration of America’s Wire Act (RAWA) — “is a violation of the Tenth Amendment and an example of crony capitalism.”

More from the IFL:

Andrew Langer, the President of the Institute for Liberty, said that the results confirm that conservative activists reject RAWA for what it is – a corporate giveaway and a breach of the Bill of Rights.

“Conservatives see RAWA for what it is – one of the worst forms of crony capitalism in Congress today.  RAWA is nothing short of an effort by one of the richest men in the world to ban a form of competition for his brick and mortar casino empire – and everyone knows it,” Langer said.  “Worse yet, he is even willing to trample on the Constitution to do it.”

Langer followed up the poll results with an editorial at The Hill.

Worries about AG Sessions

The poll comes amid renewed concerns about efforts to ban online gambling, possibly via RAWA.

Online gambling proponents are also concerned that new Attorney General Jeff Sessions could act to roll back the 2011 Department of Justice opinion that opened up states to regulating online gambling. (Those concerns came after Sessions answered a question about online gambling at his confirmation hearing.)

So far, only New Jersey, Nevada and Delaware have taken advantage of the climate allowing iGaming. Pennsylvania and New York appear close to joining those states this year.

Of course, Sessions has bigger things to worry about, including his recusal from an ongoing investigation into Russian involvement in the 2016 presidential election.

RAWA still hasn’t gained much traction

Despite Adelson’s best efforts, RAWA has gathered little momentum in Congress.

Despite Adelson giving money to President Donald Trump‘s campaign and at times having his ear, it’s not at all clear that Trump would support such a ban. Other conservative and libertarian groups have continued to push back against the idea of RAWA. And while RAWA is likely to reemerge, it has found few vocal supporters in recent years.

The new poll is simply more weight on the scale against RAWA’s chances of becoming law.

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Dustin Gouker
- Dustin Gouker has been a sports journalist for more than 15 years, working as a reporter, editor and designer -- including stops at The Washington Post and the D.C. Examiner. He has played poker recreationally for his entire adult life and has written about poker since 2008.