Thursday November 6,2014 : DOES ADELSON'S ONLINE GAMBLING BANNING BILL STAND A CHANCE?
Reports that the House Judiciary Committee may hold a hearing in the closing weeks of Congress trigger speculation.
The Republican Party will have been re-energised by its victories in the mid-term elections this week, and that could add impetus to reports that the House Judiciary Committee may decide to hold a hearing on the infamous online gambling banning bill HR 4301 launched in March this year by Utah Representative Jason Chaffetz and inspired by land casino mogul Sheldon Adelson.
With just weeks remaining of the current Congressional season, the window of opportunity is narrowing for the bill to clear the 39-member Judiciary Committee and make it to the House floor, but stranger things have happened….the unpleasant surprise of the UIGEA being one of them.
The poker information site PokerUpdate notes in an article this week that the original list of nine sponsors of the bill – better known as the Restoration of America's Wire Act – has quietly grown to 19 Representatives…and over half of these are members of the House Judiciary Committee, which is chaired by the notoriously anti-internet gambling politician, Representative Bob Goodlatte.
Another member is Representative Spencer Bachus, who is also well known for his strong opposition to online gambling over the years.
A total of 11 of the 39 members of the House Judiciary Committee have now co-sponsored HR4301.
PokerUpdate lists the current supporters of Chaffetz's bill as:
Cleaver, Emanuel [D-MO]
Franks, Trent [R-AZ]
Gabbard, Tulsi [D-HI]
Holding, George [R-NC]
Jordan, Jim [R-OH]
Lankford, James [R-OK]
Matheson, Jim [D-UT]
Smith, Lamar [R-TX]
Wolf, Frank [R-VA]
Dent, Charles [R-PA]
Rogers, Mike [R-MI]
Forbes, Randy [R-VA]
Gowdy, Trey [R-SC]
King, Steve [R-IA]
Lipinski, Daniel [D-IL]
Gohmert, Louie [R-TX]
Richmond, Cedric [D-LA]
Bachus, Spencer [R-AL]
And the information site notes that opposition to the Restoration of America's Wire Act has been remarkably subdued, an ominous sign if the rumoured hearing was to take place.
In addition, Delaware, New Jersey and Nevada – the only states that have legalised online gambling – are not represented on the Judiciary Committee, although there are Representatives there from states that are known to be actively considering legalization, like California, Pennsylvania, Georgia and Illinois.
Checking through the GovTrack site, PokerUpdate found that HR4301 is rated at 21 percent to pass committee stage this year, and has a 7 percent probability of being approved by the House if it makes the floor.
The norm is for bills to have an 11 percent chance of passing, with just 3 percent finally passing.