Is Sheldon Adelson Winning His Anti-Online Gambling Crusade?
There has been a lot said about Sheldon Adelson’s crusade against the iGaming Industry and while many people are quick to write it off as the blundering rantings of a misguided old man, we should all be taking his challenge a lot more seriously than we are at the moment as it looks like his quest has gained some powerful allies without anybody noticing.
Recently, Adelson’s online gambling banning bill – HR4301 – has gained a new following and, in an effort to kickstart a nasty surprise, one similar to the UIGEA and poker’s infamous Black Friday, successful ban and prosecute anybody even remotely involved in online gambling of any sort within the United States of America.
Originally the bill, also known as the Restoration of America’s Wire Act, only had nine sponsors. Now though, support for the bill has grown, practically overnight, to include 19 representatives including Spencer Bachus, half of which are members of the House Judiciary Committee, chaired by online gambling’s most infamous opponent, Representative Bob Goodlatte.
Another ominous omen is that the opposition to the Restoration of America’s Wire Act has, so far, been very subdued. As well as the lack of vocal opposition, the only states that have legalized online gambling, Delaware, New Jersey and Nevada, are not represented on the Committee. There are however, representatives from California, Pennsylvania, Georgia and even Illinois, all of which are all considering legalizing online gambling.
The website GovTrack, reveals that HR4301 has ratings that suggest it has a 21% chance of passing the committee stage this year and a 7% probability of being approved by the House if it does eventually make it to the floor. The norm is for any bills that have a 11% chance of passing the committee, with 3% finally being passed in a House vote.
So far, in order to assist the passing of the bill, Adelson has been pouring money into the coffers of the Republican Party and, by the end of 2014, would have donated nearly $250 million to the party.
Adelson has always been vehemently opposed to online gambling of any form and while there have been suggestions about ulterior motives, his arguments are always well-thought out and it appears as if many a politician is willing to listen to his lectures. If he alone can do enough to stem the growth of online gambling or if he can garner enough support to crush the evolution of the casino, only time will tell.
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