Wednesday December 9,2015 : R.A.W.A. HEARING WITNESS LIST RELEASED (Update)
It appears Rep. Chaffetz has learned the lesson that a balanced witness list has more credibility.
The congressional hearing on the Restoration of America's Wire Act scheduled for today by Rep. Jason Chaffetz's House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform looks likely to be a more balanced affair than the farcically biased last hearing on RAWA back in March, when Chaffetz attracted ridicule with his stacked deck of anti-online gambling witnesses.
Perhaps Chaffetz learned the lesson that a more balanced approach carries with it better credibility, prompting him to name the following as witnesses for tomorrow's hearing, titled rather provocatively "A Casino in Every Smartphone – Law Enforcement Implications"
Joseph S. Campbell, Assistant Director FBI Criminal Investigative Division; he is likely to play it safe by sticking strictly to the facts on money laundering and terrorism particularly, which will likely not gel with some of the misinformation on these aspects pushed out by Chaffetz and other anti-online gambling opponents.
Mark Lipparelli, Nevada State Senator and former Nevada Gaming Control Board chairman. Lipparelli is very much his own man and has a wealth of experience and knowledge on regulation – something noticeably lacking in the previous Chaffetz hearing. He played a key role in drafting the Nevada online poker regulations and, given the opportunity, could clear some of the misconceptions developed by biased lawmakers.
Alan M. Wilson, Attorney General of South Carolina will probably speak in support of RAWA because he is one of only eight AGs who have signed the most recent push asking compatriots to support RAWA (see next news item). He comes from South Carolina, which is also home to Sen. Lindsey Graham, the politician behind the Senate version of RAWA. in addition, Wilson and Missouri AG Chris Koster were the two AGs behind this year's appeal to state Attorney Generals to support RAWA.
Donald W. Kleine, a Douglas County, Nebraska prosecuting attorney, is the unknown joker in the pack and reportedly has few apparent links to online or for that matter land gambling, other than his involvement on occasion as a prosecutor in illegal gambling issues. The consensus appears to be that he will probably give the sort of testimony that is likely to support Chaffetz's motives.
Chaffetz could produce last-minute surprises in a sleight-of-hand move, but generally speaking industry observers do not appear to feel that this hearing will significantly impact the current situation or improve RAWA's prospects unduly.