Some of the speakers no doubt had Sheldon Adelson best interests at heart and were pro passing the bill to ban online gambling.
Particularly statements by Les Bernal and John Kindt were strongly opposed to all forms of internet gambling and would be in favor of the Federal government banning state gambling laws. Both seemed to have no real understanding on the topic and simply waffled off a fear mongering speech with no credible facts.
Opposing the restoration of the America’s Wire Act were Parry Aftab and Andy Moylan who stated that a prohibition of online gambling would open up the door to the Black Market. The bill would also impose on state rights that have already legalized and regulated online gambling with great success.
Watch the entire RAWA Hearing and decide for yourself.
The subcommittee members were allowed 5 minutes to discuss their stance of the Restoration of America’s Wire Act followed by questions by state representatives.
- John Kindt - Professor at the University of Illinois’ School of Law
- Les Bernal - National Director of the Stop Predatory Gambling Foundation
- Mike Fagan - Professor at Washington University’s School of Law
- Andrew Moylan - Executive Director at R Street
- Parry Aftab - Executive Director at Wired Safety.
Question & Answers
Question to witnesses were addressed by State Representatives: Jason Chaffetz, Bob Goodlatte, Sheila Jackson-Lee, Ted Poe, and Cedric Richmond.
Jason Chaffetz asked whether witnesses agreed if the Office of Legal Council opinion doesn't not carry the force of law, which all agreed to. He then asked about regulation and ability to police these online schemes. Chaffetz then went on a rant saying it was impossible to create these borders to keep individual states laws and technology from prohibiting children from gambling online. Aftab stood up to his statement saying that the providers and technology we have now is better than nothing from preventing children from gambling on offshore sites.
Chaffetz then left the room shortly after addressing his questions and did not stay for the rest of the RAWA hearing.
Bob Goodlatte state representative for Virginia asked all witnesses what their position on HR 707 the bill introduced by Jason Chaffetz of Utah. He also asked the witnesses if they thought states should be allowed to permit online gambling within their own border on the internet and about non-internet gambling like brick n mortar casinos.
Republican politician for Texas, Ted Poe, asked "Do you think that if something is on the internet therefore the Federal government under the guise of the commerce clause can regulate that activity?". After a technical explanation by Andrew Moylan on states rights being violated by Federal laws Poe stated that he "didn't think that the issue was whether or not government should regulate gaming because it's bad, I think we tried that with prohibition or Demon room as his grandmother used called it and we see where that got us". Poe also later stated that the National Order of Police are opposed to the legislation.
Louisiana State Representative Cedric Richmond asked the question "how does this affect my Louisiana lottery?" - the conclusion was that it would go offline.
State representative for Texas Sheila Jackson-Lee was more concerned for societal concerns like protecting children from gambling, unregulated offshore sites and federal and states rights with problems of bleeding into other states.