Wednesday March 26,2014 : TEXAS GOVERNOR WANTS ONLINE GAMBLING BANNED
Presidential candidate Rick Perry's stance should please major Republican Party donor.
Industry observers are speculating on whether there is a connection between Sheldon Adelson's jihad against online gambling and the statement Monday by Texas governor and presidential 2016 candidate Rick Perry, who has called for a resurrection of a strengthened Wire Act specifically aimed at halting the legalization of online gambling.
The publication The Hill reports that Perry sent a letter to Congressional leaders and the House and Senate Judiciary committees asking for a reversal of a 2011 Department of Justice re-interpretation of the Wire Act and acknowledging that it only applied to online sports betting.
"Congress needs to step in now and call a ‘time-out' by restoring the decades-long interpretation of the Wire Act," Perry wrote in the letter.
His views are unlikely to sit well with at least ten states that are actively considering internet-channelled wagering, and Nevada, Delaware and New Jersey, which have already implemented intrastate internet gambling and commenced moves to agree inter-state compacts to share player pools.
Perry's letter may be part of an overarching Adelson banning campaign that includes plans for Republican politicians Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Representative Jason Chaffetz of Utah to submit bills calling for the resurrection of the old Wire Act provisions
The politicians have all been recipients of Adelson political donations in the past.
The Adelson-funded Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling has also been active in generating anti-online gambling publicity, and the billionaire land casino baron recently hired Coalition front-person Blanche Lincoln's lobbying company for the project.
In his letter Perry urges Congress to "…carefully examine the short- and long-term social and economic consequences before Internet gambling spreads."
There was an immediate riposte from Texas Representative Joe Barton, who has a bill in the House seeking to legalise online poker.
Barton observed that if Perry is serious about the sensitive issue of states' rights to determine laws within their own borders, he should be supporting Barton's struggling bill, which gives individual states the right to opt out of any federal legalization of online poker if they so wish.
"You won’t find a piece of proposed legalization that better protects state’s rights," Barton said of his bill, noting that it offers "protections for consumers and stops problem gamblers and underage players from having access to poker sites."