RAWA hearing set for Wednesday

By David Cook
A hearing on the Restoration of America’s Wire Act (RAWA) will be held on Wednesday, after initially being scheduled for 5 March.

RAWA is a bill that would re-amend the 1961 Wire Act, which placed a prohibition on certain types of betting business, and would now place a federal ban on online gambling in the US, with the exception of horse racing and sports.

The bill was submitted in February by Republican Congressman Jason Chaffetz, following similar legislation that was tabled by Senator Lindsey Graham last year, though that did not receive a hearing.

The hearing was postponed after a winter storm in Washington D.C. was forecast, but the US House Judiciary Committee now officially lists the hearing, titled H.R. 707, as being scheduled for 4pm EST with the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security and Investigations.

The bill is reported to be backed by Las Vegas Sands Corporation CEO Sheldon Adelson, whose Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling lobby group wishes for Congress to place a federal ban on online gambling.

A blanket ban on US online gambling was placed with the implementation of the 2006 Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, but the law was altered when the Justice Department clarified the Wire Act in 2011, allowing states to legalise online gambling outside sports betting.

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