Monday March 16,2015 : KENTUCKY COMES OUT IN OPPOSITION TO R.A.W.A.
State lottery chief says Adelson-inspired online gambling banning proposal is a significant threat to state lotteries in the USA.
Another influential US state official has voiced concerns that the Restoration of the American Wire Act proposal currently before a Congressional committee poses a major threat to both existing and future state lottery ticket sales and should not be approved.
Arthur Gleason, CEO of the Kentucky Lottery, has reason to be concerned – his organisation is currently gearing up in partnership with GTech to launch online sales later this year, and if approved RAWA, which bans most forms of internet gambling, could derail the process.
In a letter to the Republican Party's Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell and other influential politicians prior to a hearing on the bill scheduled for March 26, Gleason voices his concern and urges that the bill be opposed due to widespread opinions that it constitutes a serious threat to his own and many other state lotteries.
Gleason reminds the politicians that historically individual states have exercised the right to pass intrastate laws including the regulation of gambling because they are better experienced and equipped than federal government officials to determine the needs of residents within their states.
He goes on to rebut RAWA supporter claims that the proposal merely restores the status quo of the Wire Act prior to the 2011 DoJ policy decision that the Wire Act applies only to sports betting, observing that it expands the prohibitions and intrudes on states' rights, with potentially negative economic consequences.
Gleason also disagrees with RAWA supporter statements regarding ineffective underaged gambling exclusion in the internet environment, pointing out that state lotteries have effective technology-based systems that efficiently exclude minors from gambling.
Gleason's fall-back position is that if Congress decides to approve RAWA despite the protestations of the states and other interested parties, then the final Act must include carve-outs for state lotteries in the same way that exemptions have been drafted for fantasy sports and horseracing.
The suggestion that state lotteries should be excluded from the RAWA's provisions is unlikely to sit well with land casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, who is reportedly the eminence grise behind RAWA and has indicated that he does not like the idea of exemptions for tribal groups or state lotteries