The Restoration of America’s Wire Act (RAWA) is back, courtesy of United States Senator and failed presidential candidate Lindsey Graham. Since quitting the campaign, backing other failed candidates, and refusing to back the Republican’s presumptive nominee, Donald Trump, Graham is ready to return to the work of the people. Well, at least to the work of big-money political donor Sheldon Adelson.
Numerous attempts to ban online gambling by way of a federal law have failed, but Adelson – errr, Graham – is not giving up yet. He has added some of the RAWA language to the most recent Senate Appropriations funding bill report. This may not sound as threatening as past efforts, but that may be the secret to its potential success.
Senator Graham is a staunch Republican, and the GOP platform clearly asserts support of states’ rights in all possible instances. Even though three states – New Jersey, Nevada, and Delaware – have already decided to legalize and regulate online poker and/or gambling, and numerous other states – Michigan, California, Pennsylvania, et al – are considering doing the same, RAWA is a tool to remove those rights with regard to online gaming.
Essentially, RAWA seeks to add wording to the Interstate Wire Act of 1961. In its original wording the Wire Act criminalizes betting or wagering using wired communication. However, since online gambling is mostly wireless in today’s world, RAWA would specify Wire Act language to simply ban most forms of online gambling on the federal level, nixing state laws in the process.