Internet gambling ban provision slipped into spending bill

Sen. Lindsey Graham has inserted into the Appropriations Bill, a provision that would ban internet gambling in US’ all 50 states.

US.- Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) inserted a provision that would effectively ban internet-based gambling in all 50 states into the giant Appropriations Bill in the Senate Appropriations Committee.

Sen. Graham, who was supported by Las Vegas billionaire Sheldon Adelson in his bid to run for president this year, inserted the internet gambling ban provision into the spending bill. The measure was strongly supported by Adelson because he sees online gambling as competition for his brick-and-mortar casinos.

Graham slipped the internet gambling ban, quite similar to the Restoration of America’s Wire Act (RAWA) bill that he sponsored earlier this year in the U.S. Senate. The RAWA language was inserted into the huge spending bill in the Senate “at the request of Senator Graham,” the RAWA language was placed in the Appropriations Bill, according to Senate Appropriations Committee spokesperson Chris Gallegos.

The language that appeared in the bill is quite similar to the key provisions of RAWA: “Internet Gambling — 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.”

The legislation has opposition from citizen groups and little support on Capitol Hill from members of Congress. The bill goes next to the House Appropriations Committee, whose chairman is Rep. John Culberson (R-TX) can remedy this issue by removing the language before the bill heads to a Conference Committee. Ultimately, the bill will head to the White House for the president’s signature into law.