Thursday November 26,2015 :  NEVADA ATTORNEY GENERAL BACKS RAWA?

Strange days indeed.

During an interview with Ralston Reports, a week night news and commentary TV programme hosted by political observer Jon Ralston, Nevada’s Attorney General Adam Laxalt surprised many with his admission that he backs Sheldon Adelson’s Restoration of the Wire Act (RAWA) proposal and intends signing a letter circulating among US attorney general’s in support of the measure which would ultimately ban internet gaming.

In the recording, Laxalt told Ralston he has not talked to Sheldon Adelson, the prime mover behind RAWA.

In a response to Ralston Reports on Laxalt’s comments, Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval said: “The gaming industry is changing and in order for Nevada’s businesses to maintain a competitive edge internationally, we must enact policies that allow the industry to meet the demands of a younger, more technologically engaged gamer.

“The groundbreaking online gaming bill previously passed by the legislature provides local businesses with an environment where they can grow and prosper. This measure also ensures our regulatory bodies, which are considered the best in the world, will continue to develop policies that will ensure Nevada remains the global epicenter for gaming development.

“Furthermore, as a former Attorney General, Gaming Commission Chairman and someone who worked with the industry and the Legislature on Nevada's online poker legalization, I am very concerned that anyone representing the state's legal interests would speak out against current state law in our leading industry. At its core, this is a state’s rights issue and I disagree with the Attorney General that a federal government one-size-fits-all solution is in the best interest of Nevada.”

Chairman of the Nevada Gaming Control Board A.G. Burnett weighed in on the issue with his response saying:  I disagree on his [Laxalt] position regarding RAWA.  States should be left to regulate gaming as they choose, and the regulatory agreement between Nevada and Delaware has been a success.  Without a carve-out for state-regulated online poker, the activity simply couldn’t exist in a legal, regulated format.  I am concerned that would mean that offshore operators would still be able to offer illegal, unregulated online poker, while licensed and suitable entities are banned from doing so.  To my knowledge, RAWA contains no nationwide geo-fencing from offshore gaming operators. 

“Also, I am concerned about the chaos that will erupt if RAWA exempts certain forms of fantasy sports, particularly the unregulated industry of daily fantasy sports.  Such a carve-out might allow DFS, which is clearly a form of gaming, to operate that gaming without any regulatory oversight, including consumer protection, audits, law enforcement mechanisms and suitability for licensing standards.         

Chairman and chief executive officer of MGM Resorts International, Jim Murren believes restoration of the wire act would set the state of Nevada back 30 years telling Ralston: “I very much hope our attorney general doesn't sign on to that because that literally would be saying I am against the gaming industry in Nevada, I'm against jobs, I'm against social media, I'm against IGT, I'm against the largest employer in the state."