Senator Cotton files a bill that resembles RAWA

Sheldon Adelson’s friend, Senator Tom Cotton, quietly introduced bill S.3376, which seems quite similar to the Restoration of America’s Wire Act (RAWA).

US.- Sheldon Adelson’s friend Senator Tom Cotton, quietly introduced bill S.3376 last week and dated September 21. The bill was read and quickly referred to the Committee on the Judiciary.

The Congressional website stated this: “A bill to ensure the integrity of laws enacted to prevent the use of financial instruments for funding or operating online casinos are not undermined by legal opinions not carrying the force of law issued by Federal Government lawyers.”

Bill S.3376 resembles the Restoration of America’s Wire Act (RAWA), the summary of which reads in more depth as follows:

“Amends provisions of the federal criminal code, commonly known as the Wire Act, to provide that the prohibition against using a wire communication facility for the transmission of bets or wagers, wagering information, or wagering proceeds shall: (1) apply to any bet or wager (currently, to bets or wagers on any sporting event or contest); and (2) include any transmission over the Internet carried interstate or in foreign commerce.”

“States that nothing in this Act shall be construed to preempt any state law prohibiting gambling or to alter, limit, or extend: (1) the relationship between the Interstate Horseracing Act of 1978 and other federal laws currently in effect, (2) the ability of a state licensed lottery or state licensed retailer to make on-premises retail lottery sales or to transmit information ancillary to such sales, (3) the ability of a state licensed gaming establishment or a tribal gaming establishment to transmit information assisting in the placing of a bet or water on the physical premises of the establishment, or (4) the relationship between federal laws and state charitable gaming laws.”

However, the Poker Players Alliance (PPA) found Cotton’s filing and alerted the poker community via twitter on September 23. The PPA also revealed additional information about the bill, though what is available thus far is not much. Added to the aforementioned paragraph, it notes that it is a “reaffirmation of prohibition on funding of unlawful internet gambling.” Further, it states, “The Memorandum Opinion for the Assistant Attorney General of the Criminal Division of the Department of Justice, dated September 20, 2011, shall have no force or effect for the purposes of interpreting section 5362(10) of title 31, United States Code.”

“Cotton is a strident online poker opponent,” said Rich Muny of the PPA. “He cosponsors RAWA and is now taking a shot at the DoJ interpretation of the Wire Act. Adelson is still spending a lot on lobbying for an online poker ban. And with Sen. Reid retiring, it seems like this year’s lame duck session will see a big push from Adelson for a ban.”