Unless someone has been living under a rock for the last couple of decades, they will know that a new form of competition for just about any business, popped up in the mid-1990’s. And it is called the Internet. Perhaps, no other invention, except for the telegraph and telephones impacted the way people do business, like the internet.
Many a giant enterprise was caught sleeping and found themselves in the stark reality of either changing with the times or go under. The gambling industry is just another business to become a victim of the Internet.
And one of the people who is vehemently fighting against the gambling industry using the internet to expand is none other than Sheldon Adelson. For those who don’t know who he is, he is the CEO of Las Vegas Sands, one of the largest gambling outfits in terms of revenue. Mr. Adelson, a billionaire many times over, has been lobbying hard to ban online gambling at the federal government level, for quite some time now. From a business point of view, this is understandable. After all, who is going to take the trouble of taking a plane all the way to Las Vegas, when they can do it in the comfort of their home. For this reason, Mr. Adelson has put himself on the list of people fighting change.
Back in 2013, Mr. Adelson has been pledging to do “whatever it takes” to take down online gambling. Online gambling is permissible but regulated in several states. On top of all this, more and more states are taking a closer look at legalizing it. Alarmed at all of this Mr. Adelson has lobbied hard for the “Restore Americas Wire Bill Act” more famously known simply as RAWA.
If RAWA gets pushed through, it would difficult at the very least for states to legalize gambling. However, the wind has been taken out of RAWA’s sails for the simple reason that most Republicans are against it. Republicans traditionally do not like to see the Federal Government meddling in states affairs. Moreover, a lot of people including Republicans see RAWA as a classic example of crony capitalism.
What is RAWA and what is the big deal? The original Wire Act was passed way back in 1961, before the arrival of the internet. Back then it was written into law that information regarding gambling or to conduct gambling over the phone or telegraph, would be considered illegal. Mr.Adelson is trying hard to extend this provision to online gambling as well.