In an effort to promote a federal ban on internet-based gambling, Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) opened a hearing recently titled A Casino in Every Smartphone - Law Enforcement Implications. The hearing, before the House Oversight Committee that Rep. Chaffetz chairs, not only failed to make the case for his Restoration of America’s Wire Act (RAWA), it also made a strong case against the bill. Members of Congress of both parties, as well as the witnesses Chaffetz invited to the hearing, gave strong testimony in favor of legal and regulated in-state online gambling.
Rep. Chaffetz opened the hearing making a statement about how RAWA would supposedly restore what he claims is the previous interpretation of the Wire Act against online gambling that he says was overturned by the interpretation by the Office of Legal Counsel in December of 2011. Chaffetz, who is advancing RAWA on behalf of Las Vegas casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, argued that legalized internet gambling in any states will make it impossible to prohibit it in any states, such as his own state of Utah, which has legislated against online gambling in that state.
Speaking about RAWA, which would effectively ban internet-based gambling in all states, Chaffetz quite absurdly stated, “I believe the piece of legislation that I introduced, Restoring America’s Wire Act, is a states’ rights bill.”