Former Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions was sworn in as United States Attorney General on Thursday, after a divided Senate prolonged his confirmation hearings, amid a sometimes bitter debate that closely scrutinized his record on civil rights.
President Donald Trump’s pick for the job has been dogged by allegations of racism since he was denied a federal judgeship 30 years ago, due to what Ted Kennedy called evidence of “gross insensitivity to the questions of race.”
Enough column inches have been devoted this week to what Sessions may or may not have said in the eighties, as well as almost everything he’s done since. More to the point for poker players is what Sessions said on January 10, 2017 and what it might mean for online poker.
This was Sessions’ confirmation hearing, during which lawmakers quizzed Trump’s nominee on his credentials and his opinions on a range of legal issues. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina), who has sponsored the Restoration of America’s Wire Act (RAWA), legislation aimed at banning online poker at a federal level, seized the opportunity to probe Session’s on his pet issue: the 2011 DOJ opinion on the Wire Act, which opened the door for Nevada, New Jersey, and Delaware to set up regulated online gambling in their respective states.
Session’s declared himself to have been “shocked” by the opinion, which limited the scope of the Wire Act to sports betting and, in doing so, paved the way for individual states to regulate online poker and casino gaming.
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