RAWA Hearing Gets New Witness and Date Reset

RAWA Hearing Gets New Witness and Date ResetThe congressional hearing on the Restoration of Americas Wire Act (RAWA) has been pushed up a day to Wednesday, March 25.

RAWA is a bill that aims to ban online poker and gambling at the federal level while permitting carveouts for horse racing and fantasy sports. It is the work of Las Vegas Sands CEO Sheldon Adelson and his Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling.

The hearing before the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security and Investigations had been previously set for March 5, but a winter storm prevented any discussions from taking place. The hearing date was then moved to March 26 before again being rescheduled to the 25th at 4:00 p.m.

Four witnesses had been scheduled in advance of the hearing date on the 5th, with three of them favoring the anti-online gambling side. Perhaps the subcommittee chairman heard the protests and cries of “unfair” emanating from the pro-Internet gambling crowd, as a new expert witness with a bent toward favoring online gambling has been added to the agenda.

Andrew Moylan, the Executive Director and Senior Fellow of R Street, will provide his expertise regarding the rights of states to be free to govern without being handcuffed by federal legislators. He joins Parry Aftab, Executive Director of Wired Safety, on behalf of online gambling proponents. Aftab has testified during past online gambling hearings, eloquently explaining how Americans are safer with regulation as opposed to unregulated igaming.

University of Illinois professor John Kindt, who was instrumental in UIGEA legislation in 2006, will be testifying against online poker and gambling. As will law school instructor and former DoJ prosecutor Mike Fagan. The National Director of Stop Predatory Gambling, Les Bernal, rounds out the expert witness list for tomorrow’s hearing.

Technology Demonstration in A.M.

Prior to the subcommittee hearing, the Poker Players Alliance, in conjunction with Caesars Entertainment and Geocomply, will present a demonstration entitled “How Does Technology Ensure Online Gaming Compliance?” The demonstration will commence at 10:00 a.m. and hopefully a number of subcommittee members will take time out of their busy schedules to attend.

Geocomply is a leader in geolocation technology and has provided exhibitions in the past that show how regulated states keep players located outside the state from gaining access to online poker and gambling sites. Caesars will be there to demonstrate how it verifies players who create accounts.

Adelson’s opposition to igaming often includes claims that minors can gamble online and that technology is not advanced enough to prevent such occurrences. He would no doubt benefit from attending the demonstration to learn how great strides have been made in identifying who is gambling online and from what location.

Jacqueline Packett
Jacqueline Packett