Casino magnate Sheldon Adelson has taken his anti-online gambling crusade to a new level by drafting an Internet Gambling Control Act.
The Las Vegas Sands CEO and his recently-formed Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling are behind a new unfinished draft of a federal proposal that seeks to reverse the DoJ’s 2011 ruling that clarified the antiquated 1961 Wire Act. That act, now some 52 years old, was put into place long before the Internet became a society staple throughout most of the world.
The act’s main purpose over five decades ago was to prevent bookmaking over the telephone. When a couple states that wanted to sell lottery tickets online asked the DoJ a few years ago to reinterpret the Wire Act, it was determined that the statute applied only to sports betting. That has permitted Nevada, Delaware and New Jersey to enact online poker and gambling legislation, with more states likely to follow.
By proposing the bill, Adelson is hoping that federal lawmakers and the general public
fully examine the issues surrounding Internet gambling. His idea is to have the DoJ’s 2011 ruling reversed and the 1961 Wire Act amended so that it also applies to gaming via the Internet.
Though the draft is somewhat raw and needs considerable work, its provisions seem to come right from the propaganda found on Adelson’s Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling website. For those unfamiliar with language found on the site, Adelson claims that Internet gambling legislation will spawn the financing of terrorism, money laundering, a proliferation of under-aged gambling, fraud, and other various cyber-crimes.
The proposal calls for the FBI to study the effects that online gambling may have in relation to the above-mentioned criminal activity. The feds would be required to submit a report on their findings within two years from enactment of the legislation.
The draft bill, a copy of which was obtained by Marco Valerio and published at agentmarco.com, is three pages in length. Adelson goes to great lengths to include online poker in his opposition to Internet gambling. The language of the bill mentions
games in part or predominantly subject to chance as well as the outcome of contests that are
predominantly determined by the skill of the players.
Although no sponsor of the bill has yet stepped forward, Adelson does have considerable clout within the Republican party due to the millions of dollars in campaign donations he has contributed in the past. The 80-year-old billionaire had a tremendous year financially in 2013, as his wealth rose an incredible 68% to more than $37 billion.
Adelson now ranks 5th among the richest Americans. He has vowed to spend whatever it takes to prevent online gambling legislation from spreading throughout the U.S. Whether he can stop the progress of the state-by-state regimes that have begun taking hold remains uncertain.