Ron Paul Launches into RAWA Once Again

Ron PaulTwo-time presidential candidate Ron Paul has warned his Republican colleagues they face alienation from the millennial vote if they show support for RAWA.

Ron Paul has for a long time been a massive supporter of online poker in the USA. In 2006 he spoke out against UIGEA – calling it an outrageous affront to individual freedom. In 2007, Paul supported Barney Frank´s “Internet Gambling Regulation and Enforcement Act”, and he was a co-sponsor of Joe Barton´s failed “Online Poker Act” in 2011.

Last November, Paul took on the biggest threat to online poker in the USA – Sheldon Adelson – when he used his online weekly column to accuse the billionaire casino owner of “crony capitalism”. He also accused supporters of Adelson´s “Restoration of Americas Wire Act” (RAWA) of trying to curry favor with the wealthy political donor for their own financial benefit.

Yesterday the mainstream online news site published an Op-Ed written by Paul in which he warned his Republican colleagues that showing support for RAWA would alienate millennial votes who were disillusioned with President Obama´s failed promises of peace and prosperity. Paul claims that younger voters are looking to support a party that will defend individual liberty and limit federal government control, and that RAWA proposes the complete opposite of these ideals.

Graham and Rubio Singled Out for Criticism

Explaining how the passage of RAWA would override the 10th Amendment, Paul singles out Senators Lindsey Graham from South Carolina and Marco Rubio from Florida – both Adelson-funded Republican presidential candidates – for supporting legislation that combines an unconstitutional assault on individual liberty with cronyism.

Paul writes that he receives a lot of support from young voters for his attacks on unjustified wiretapping and mass surveillance. The passage of RAWA – he claims – would give federal agencies the green light to spy on an individual´s Internet activity to make sure they are not playing online poker. This unconstitutional infringement on an individual´s freedom – Paul speculates – would likely be viewed as hypocrisy by younger voters, who would look elsewhere for a trustworthy politician to support.

Paul also warns that the passage of RAWA would be a step towards creating a conservative (Republican) nanny state, and although those opposed to gambling have the right to have their opinions heard, government enforcement to enact their opinions is not the way forward. Convinced that a public show of support for RAWA would be bad for a candidate´s popularity, Paul concludes his Op-Ed by saying:

Any politician who bets on the iGaming ban is bound to come up with lemons.

Rumors of an Online Poker Moratorium Surface Again

Meanwhile up on Capitol Hill, rumors have resurfaced of a proposed two-year moratorium that would prevent further states from passing legislation to allow regulated online poker. Last night Michelle Minton – the Competitive Enterprise Institute´s specialist for Internet gambling – tweeted that Republican politicians were pushing for the moratorium as an alternative to the blanket ban proposed by RAWA.

Rumors of an online poker moratorium originally surfaced in July, when Chris Krafcik from Gambling Compliance broke the news (we covered the story and the implications of the moratorium [geolink href=””]here[/geolink]). attempted to contact Ms Minton to determine whether hers were fresh rumors or a repeat of what was circulated two months ago. At the time of publication, we have not received a reply.

In terms of being a violation of the 10th Amendment, a moratorium would be an outrageous infringement of each state´s right to decide whether or not online poker should be allowed within its borders. However, in practical terms, there has been no further movement towards the regulation of online poker in Pennsylvania or California for months and – judging by Wednesday´s [geolink href=””]sparsely attended public hearing in Albany[/geolink] – there is unlikely to be any movement at all towards the regulation of online poker in New York for the foreseeable future.

As we wrote back in July:

Maybe a moratorium would be a good idea. It would allow time for arguments to be resolved and consensus to be found. It would certainly lift the burden of expectation from lawmakers and stakeholders, and allow for constructive discussions to take place behind closed doors – rather than allow (some) politicians to use online poker in the US as a platform to enhance their political careers.

We hope Ron Paul approves!

Jacqueline Packett
Jacqueline Packett