Sunday August 10,2014 : SLIM CHANCE OF ADELSON BANNING BILL PASSING.
Congressional monitoring site Govtrack.us gives Restoration of America’s Wire Act at best only an 8 percent chance of passing.
South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham and Utah Representative Jason Chaffetz could be in for a disappointment if they continue to push their federal attempt to ban internet gambling with the Restoration of America’s Wire Act, according to an estimate published on the Congressional monitoring site Govtrack.us.
Vegas Inc. reports that federal legislators are currently on their August break and the proposed bills have gained little real traction at committee stage in either the Senate or the House despite high lobbying spend by companies for and against the measures, and their fate is uncertain.
Govtrack gives Graham's Senate bill a mere 1 percent chance of being enacted, whilst the House bill introduced by Chaffetz has only an 8 percent chance of successful passage.
Robert Shore, an analyst for Union Gaming Group, told Vegas Inc. that Congress has little incentive to act for now because online gaming has been legalised in relatively few places.
“If more and more states would enact online gaming at the state level, I think at some point there would be more interest for a federal bill,” he said.
That hasn’t stopped supporters of the ban.
Las Vegas Sands multi-billionaire Sheldon Adelson and his family continue to be the main backers of an internet gambling ban, spending big on lobbying in the second quarter. Approached for comment on the Govtrack estimates, LVS did not respond.
Companies against an overall internet gambling ban like Caesars Entertainment and MGM have reportedly also invested heavily in lobbying.
Vegas Inc. observes that Nevada Senators Harry Reid and Dean Heller have not shown much public enthusiasm for a banning bill that could impact the legalised online poker businesses of casino groups in their state, and have yet to comment decisively regarding their support or otherwise for the Graham-Chaffetz bills.
Tom Russell, director of the pro-internet gambling action group Coalition for Consumer and Online Protection, told Vegas Inc. that his group is doing its best to ensure that the ban suggested by Graham and Chaffetz – which he referred to as “Mr. Adelson’s bill” – doesn’t pass.
Caesars supports the coalition and deferred questions to the group.
“It’s really unrealistic for Congress to step into the role of, for all intents and purposes, trying to put the Internet genie back in a bottle,” Russell said.