Thursday July 2,2015 : R.A.W.A. LOBBYING INTENSIFIES IN CONGRESS
Lottery retail association representatives active in promoting banning bill.
The online gambling-savvy Michelle Minton, who has consistently published factual and positive articles and papers on the industry and its technologies, wrote in The Hill blog this week that the lobbying battle for and against Sheldon Adelson's Restoration of America's Wire Act has intensified in Washington DC.
RAWA supporters have bills in both the House (HR707) and the Senate (S1668) introduced respectively by Rep. Jason Chaffetz and Sen. Lindesey Graham, both Republicans
"Behind closed doors, the push for Congress to vote on the bill before adjourning for summer recess has intensified and the tactics [have] become more extreme. And as usual, Sands Chairman Sheldon Adelson, one of RAWA’s most prominent supporters, is lurking in the background," Minton writes.
She claims that the National Association of Convenience Stores’s (NACS) lobbying firm, Steptoe & Johnson, recently hired the former Adelson-LVS lobbyist who literally wrote RAWA, noting that convenience stores want to protect the monopoly they have on lottery ticket sales in most states, and that the NACS is trying to convince lawmakers that state lotteries simply don’t have the technology to effectively regulate online gambling.
Minton reports that Steptoe & Johnson partner Douglas Kantor has been making the rounds on Capitol Hill screening a video that supposedly shows a person in Virginia using a virtual private network (VPN) to unlawfully access the Georgia online lottery.
"This tactic is straight out of the Adelson “scare them with half-truths” playbook," she comments, going on to debunk the allegations with factual views on the practical experience with the relevant technologies in states like Delaware, New Jersey and Nevada, where internet gambling is strictly regulated and licensed.
Minton points to the dangers of banning rather than regulating and controlling online gambling in the United States as a better option for consumers and individual states.
"If lawmakers truly desire to protect consumers and uphold the constitutionally protected state powers, they should let states decide for themselves if and how to regulate the activity," Minton concludes in her op-ed. "As the last few years have demonstrated, the technology is available and states are motivated to play by the rules."
It's an interesting and factual piece worth reading here: