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Online Poker Ban Defeated Again On Capitol Hill

RAWA-Like Amendment Withdrawn From Spending Bill: PPA


RAWA-like language in a House version of a federal spending bill is off the table, as a Congressman failed to successfully push the amendment, according to the Poker Players Alliance, a D.C.-based lobbying group.

Rep. Charlie Dent (R-PA) ended up withdrawing the plan from the appropriations bill on Tuesday, the PPA said. “We win. RAWA loses. Thank you for taking action to defeat this effort,” the group said.

The language that echoed a stand-alone bill attempting to “restore” America’s 1961 Wire Act in order to ban online casino gaming first appeared in the Senate’s version of a 141-page spending plan just weeks ago. The language was included at the request of Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC).

The $56 billion spending bill was from the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies. It was seen as a backdoor attempt to get RAWA on the books without a stand-alone measure passing.

The amendment withdrawal from Rep. Dent came the same day as lawmakers in his home state flirted with the idea of legalizing and regulating online casino games.

The hours-long federal hearing can be viewed below. Rep. Dent’s comments on online gambling begin at 4:46:47. Even though he withdrew the amendment, he said he wants Congress to continue considering prohibiting casino games played over the Internet.

Last fall, The Hill reported there was potential for a proposal coming forward that would place a two-year moratorium on online gaming expansion. The ban effectively could have been put in place by mandating a federal study of the online casino industry.

In December, the House Oversight & Government Reform Committee discussed the RAWA proposal from Rep. John Chaffetz (R-UT), but it featured a lot of testimony that undermined his efforts. It was seen as a win for the poker community.

All of these efforts have been supported by Las Vegas casino mogul Sheldon Adelson.

Tags: RAWA