Anti-online gambling politicians who failed to get the Restoration of the Wire Act bill signed into law have decided to take a tip from the passing of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 (UIGEA) by tacking it onto a bill that carries far more clout.
Once upon a time the entire face of online poker in the United States of America was bloodied after the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 (UIGEA) was added to the SAFE Port Act and signed into law by President George W. Bush on October 12, 2006.
Safe ports and online poker?
It doesn’t compute does it?
It didn’t have to compute. It seemed that all you need was a politician smart enough to tack something shit onto a piece of gold, without being seen, and voila.
Step forward and take a bow, Sen. Lindsey Graham. A man who doesn’t like online poker very much and has tried his hardest to kill it by pushing the Restoration of America’s Wire Act (RAWA) into law quite persistently.
Writing for OnlinePokerReport Steve Ruddock reminds us that Graham, Sheldon Adelson, and the rest of his cronies have tried and failed on five separate occasions to get people of persuasion to notice this bill but they don’t seem to give a toss.
If RAWA ever passes, it means all the muscle that the states have put in to piece together a desolate post UIGEA online poker market will be for nought. There will be no online poker. There will be no online gambling. Gamblers will have to play in brick and mortar casinos owned by people like Sheldon Adelson.
It seems Graham’s latest plan was to sneak the bill into law by going down the UIGEA route and tacking it onto something really, really important such as a $56.3 million spending bill approved by the Senate Appropriations Committee. The tome is 141 pages thick; easy to hide a reference to online gambling being like syphilis.
If you turn to Page 59 of that beast, you will find this out of place reference.
“Internet Gambling: Since 1961, the Wire Act has prohibited nearly all forms of gambling over interstate wires, including the Internet. However, beginning in 2011, certain States began to permit Internet gambling. The Committee notes that the Wire Act did not change in 2011.”
The unanimous verdict across all forms of media is that Sen. Graham, himself a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, is responsible for the insertion of that wording. I know what you are thinking. It’s only an opinion. 43 words. Think of it as a seed with the potential to grow and wreak havoc.
Fortunately, unlike the UIGEA, everyone sees it courtesy of the poker media. The hope now is that Rep. John Culberson will take some whitener to those 43-words before the bill trots off to the Conference Committee, and onto the White House for someone like Donald Trump to sign into law.
Online poker in America.
It makes me feel like I am continually slurping the coldest slush puppy in the world.