Online gambling ban fails in U.S. House Appropriations

Rep. Charlie Dent tried, but failed, to get similar language included in the House version.

Earlier this month, Senator Lindsey Graham added anti-online gambling language to an appropriations bill passed by the United States Senate.

US.- Senator Lindsey Graham added anti-online gambling language to an appropriations bill passed earlier this month by the United States Senate. However, when Rep. Charlie Dent (R-PA) tried to get similar language included in the House version of the bill, the House of Representatives failed to pass it.

Graham managed to get the following passage written into the Senate version of the bill: “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 Committee also notes that the Supreme Court of the United States has stated that ‘‘criminal laws are for courts, not for the Government, to construe.’’

However, Graham’s efforts fell apart when the House of Representatives failed to include the same type of anti-online gambling language in its version of the appropriations bill.

In the past two years, members of the congress who back Sheldon Adelson-inspired Restoration of America’s Wire Act (RAWA) bill have unsuccessfully tried to pass RAWA at several different points. The last approach is to get the bill included in a larger, must-pass, piece of legislation.

“This clearly is an attempt to circumvent regular order in the House and Senate,” wrote a coalition of right-wing and libertarian groups in a letter. “We are deeply concerned that this language has been inserted to be used as a placeholder for “air dropping” RAWA in a conference report, whether it be the CJS Appropriations bill, an Omnibus or a Continuing Resolution, as a way to deny the American people the ability to have their direct say in a fundamental legislative shift that limits individual rights. The process of regular order safeguards those rights by allowing for an open and meaningful discussion to occur.”