Adelson behind a new bill proposing federal banning of online gaming in the US
March 24, 2014
Anti-gaming lobbyist Darry Nirenbeg, who represents Sheldon Adelson’s Las Vegas Sands Corporation, has drafted a bill proposing to federal banning of online gaming in the US.
“The Internet Gambling Control Act”, that claims to ban all forms of Internet gambling in the United States except for horse racing will run in tandem with Senator Lindsey Graham´s (R-SC) Wire Act “fix”, which is being heavily supported by Sheldon Adelson´s Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling. The bill seeks to stop online gambling with immediate effect and asks for a study to be conducted on issues such as terrorism financing, money laundering, cyber-crimes and online gambling by minors. The author of the bill wants the Director of the FBI to present a report on the law inforcement aspects of online gambling to the Committee on the Judiciary of the House of Representatives and the Committee on the Judiciary of the Senate within two years of the bill’s enactment. He also proposes that the wording of the Wire Act be amended to include any transaction conducted over the Internet, and that the existing term “any sporting event or contest” be clarified to include games of chance, games of skill, or events in which a participant could win a lottery or other prize (except for horse racing).
Sheldon Adelson behind “The Internet Gambling Control Act”
Sheldon Adelson has vowed to spend “whatever it takes” to prohibit online gambling in the US despite having made a $28.5 billion fortune from his brick-and-mortar casinos in Las Vegas. Pro-gambling lobbyists fear that his generous contributions to Republican Party funds will have a significant influence on the bill´s chances of success – which would undo all the progress made so far in Nevada, New Jersey and Delaware.
The possible stumbling block for Adelson´s plans could come in the revenues that have been generated from online poker in the three regulated States – particularly in New Jersey – and also from nationwide objections to prohibiting online lotteries and the risk that online gamblers will look to offshore, unregulated sites for their online gambling activities.
According to Mary Bono, a former Republican Congresswoman from California now representative of the pro-gambling Coalition for Consumer and Online Protection, “banning all online gaming nationwide, as this bill effectively does, would put American consumers at serious risk from offshore and unregulated gambling”. Her group advocates legalized online gambling, which is regulated in a similar way to Nevada´s model to protect online gamblers.