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During the Lame Duck session last December regulated online gambling advocates were busy playing defense against a late push by Sheldon Adelson and his merry men to attach RAWA to the trillion-dollar CRomnibus spending bill.

We won that fight, thanks to our own advocacy as well as some much needed support from Libertarian and Conservative groups. This pressure saw the cancellation of a proposed RAWA hearing in 2014, and the eventual scrapping of RAWA altogether – supposedly in the form of a personal phone call from Speaker of the House John Boehner to Sheldon Adelson.

When RAWA was reintroduced by Representative Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) this year it felt like Groundhog Day, as advocates for online gambling started preparing for what appeared to be another defensive stand against Adelson and company.

However, thus far this hasn’t been the case, and for the first time iGaming advocates are going on the offensive and taking the fight to the supporters of an online gambling ban.

Now it’s time to crank up the heat even more, and hopefully put an end to blanket online gambling bans once and for all.


Channel Knute Rockne

In a pep talk he arranged for newsreels to record, Notre Dame coach Knute Rockne famously declared, “Once we’ve got them on the run we’re going to keep ’em on the run,” and this is what we need to do to RAWA supporters, we need to keep them on the run by focusing on the key arguments in this fight and forcing legitimate debate on the facts, not theory and speculation.

We’ve stood up to the bully, but now it’s time to punch him right in his mouth.


Why do you continue to run?

We’ve challenged you to fight on equal footing, but you won’t. If you are so right, and have the facts to back up your claims, riddle me this: Why are you afraid of honest debate?

Where were you at CPAC? Why is the now-cancelled RAWA hearing’s witness list nothing more than anti-online gambling mouthpieces?

You want to debate RAWA, fine, let’s debate RAWA. Let us know what concerns you have and we can both present our case to the public and to lawmakers. We’re ready, are you?


Adelson vs. the world

If RAWA is a moral imperative meant to undo some perceived governmental overreach (anathema to small government Republican ideology), and not simply crony capitalism designed to advance the policies of one man, than why does the entire Republican party seem to oppose it?

As Tim Carney noted in the Washington Examiner: “But here’s a good rule to follow in Washington: Whenever someone is proposing a government intervention, look past the “moral standards” he’s trumpeting, and follow the money.”

This is not simply a case of RAWA being noxious to online gaming advocates and companies looking to get into the space, this bill is opposed by just about everyone not named Sheldon Adelson, on both sides of the aisle.

In fact, Republican opposition to RAWA is far more intense than Democrat opposition, which means any Republican thinking about voting for RAWA to curry favor with mega-donor Sheldon Adelson should think twice and consider the political blowback they will receive from:

Furthermore, in April of 2014, 10 libertarian and conservative groups sent a letter to Congress opposing RAWA, and on November 20, 2014, 12 groups (seven of which did not sign the April letter) sent a similar letter to the leadership of Congress.

And just for good measure, let’s not forget these groups and their opposition to RAWA:

Steve Ruddock

Steve is veteran of the the poker industry, first as a player and now as a writer focusing mainly on the regulated U.S. markets and the politics of poker. Follow Steve on Twitter @SteveRuddock and at Google+.