Following the reintroduction of the Restoration of America’s Wire Act (RAWA) in the U.S. House of Representatives by Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), the entire iGaming world expected Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) to reintroduce RAWA into the U.S. Senate.
Graham has indicated he would be reintroducing the legislation he and Chaffetz first pushed for in 2014, presumably at the behest of Sheldon Adelson, who is widely believed to be the driving force behind RAWA. But up to this point, RAWA hasn’t returned for an encore appearance in the U.S. Senate.
There are several reasons Graham may have flinched on reintroducing an online gambling ban. Lindsey Graham is officially running for President of the United States in 2016, and his platform seems to be aimed at single-issue voters.
The notorious Hawk has called for a return of U.S. troops to the Middle East and potentially decades of willing occupation and nation building. So much so that Graham recently stated, “Don’t vote for me if you’re worn out by war.”
It’s doubtful Graham wants to field questions on online gambling while he campaigns on his pro-war platform – although he could potentially use the false narrative that terrorists will use regulated online gambling sites to launder money as segue.
Furthermore, the sliver of the Republican electorate he is attempting to court is not exactly in favor of a protective government telling them what they can and can’t gamble on.
The only reason for Graham to push for RAWA would be to court favor with Republican mega-donor Sheldon Adelson. But Graham has a lot of competition on that front in what is a quickly turning into a saturated Republican field.