Tags: Sheldon Adelson | online gambling | casinos

Conservatives at Odds With Powerful Push to Ban Online Gambling

By    |   Monday, 24 Nov 2014 07:14 AM

Conservatives who support Internet gambling on libertarian and states' rights grounds have come out against a proposed bill promoted by Republican mega-donor Sheldon Adelson that would ban online gambling in states where it is currently legal, The Washington Post reported.

The issue is being fought out largely among conservative-leaning Republicans.

Adelson opposes Internet gambling on the grounds that it "takes gambling too far" targeting young and poor people who can ill afford to lay bets. That would undermine Adelson's view of the industry's business model, which aims to bring individuals and families to resort hotels.

Opponents say Adelson's stance is rooted in his worldwide business interests, the Post reported.

Adelson is promoting the Restoration of America's Wire Act, a measure that would reinstate the 1961 Wire Act in order to ban licensed online gambling in states. In 2011, the Justice Department determined that the act allowed certain forms of online betting.

Legalized Internet gambling is now permitted in three states, with six others weighing the idea. Adelson's position is that the Justice Department's determination is mistaken, the Post reported.

Opposition to Adelson is spearheaded by the Interactive Gaming Council, an industry group, which funds the Poker Players Alliance. He is also opposed by rival casino owners, who counter that it is better to allow legal online gambling that could be regulated and generate revenue for states than leaving it to offshore companies.

Writing in the tea party-oriented site Red State, Eliot Bakker argues that "Gambling (on sports or otherwise) is a personal, individual choice that simply isn't in the government's purview."

Also lining up against Adelson is Grover Norquist of Americans for Tax Reform, who says states "don't need federal government babysitting them." Former Texas Republican congressman Ron Paul, the father of Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, portrays Adelson's approach as "crony capitalism" and opposes it on libertarian grounds, the Post reported.

House Speaker John Boehner has met with lobbyists on both sides of the measure.

Adelson's bill is backed by 11 out of 22 Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee.

Democratic Sen. Harry Reid, who faces re-election in Nevada next year, has not taken a public position, but like other politicians in the state is likely to back whatever is best for the Nevada gambling industry and would not want to pick a fight with Adelson, the Post reported.

Among the senators lining up with Adelson are Republican Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Democrat Dianne Feinstein of California.

Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, is championing the Adelson line in the House.

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Conservatives who support Internet gambling on libertarian and states' rights grounds have come out against a bill promoted by Republican mega-donor Sheldon Adelson that would ban online gambling, The Washington Post reported.
Sheldon Adelson, online gambling, casinos
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2014-14-24
Monday, 24 Nov 2014 07:14 AM
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