The Restoration of America’s Wire Act will receive a formal hearing during March. According to a tweet from Michelle Minton of the Competitive Enterprise Institute, the House Subcommittee on Crime will conduct a hearing on RAWA on March 5.
Below is Minton’s tweet from Thursday:
— michelleminton (@michelleminton) February 19, 2015
RAWA was expected to get a hearing sometime during the December Lame Duck session of Congress but various political groups objected and the hearing never took place.
Industry Split Over RAWA Passage
Ever since the beginning of 2014, many believe that Sheldon Adelson had little chance of getting an anti-gambling bill to pass. As the year rolled along, some became nervous but many felt that RAWA would be defeated, and it was.
This year, there has been a bit of a shift. While many analysts still feel that RAWA will fail miserably at the Congressional level, others feel that Adelson poses a serious threat to the future of online poker.
One of the most passionate articles warning of a potential RAWA passage has come from WSOP Media Director Nolan Dalla. In his article Ten Reasons Why Online Poker Could Get Outlawed, he plainly points out the strengths of Adelson’s coalition and the weaknesses of online poker’s position.
Among Adelson’s strengths, he lists a virtually unlimited supply of money and bipartisan support for the issue. Among the weaknesses of online poker’s position, he lists divisiveness and disorganization of the industry as well as a lack of a true leader or face of the issue.
Dalla believes that there’s a strong chance that RAWA could ultimately reach a vote in Congress and if so, he thinks it may have too much momentum to pass.
While Dalla’s position may seem extreme, he does not appear alone. Just last week, Caesars Entertainment reversed their position on bad actors and their opposition of PokerStars entering the United States. They then formed a partnership with PokerStars to lobby for online poker legislation.
Caesars acknowledged that Adelson was the true enemy of online poker, stating that PokerStars was a solid ally in the industry. This reversal and subsequent partnership should be recognized more for its potential to help defeat Adelson and RAWA than for its chances of bringing PokerStars back into the United States.
We will get a better idea of where certain lawmakers stand after this hearing and whether this move is being done just to appease Adelson or if this is the beginning of what could be online poker’s greatest fight.