Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
July 30, 2014

Libertarian CEI Knocks GOP Internet Gambling Bills

The Competitive Enterprise Institute, which yesterday said it sued the White House’s science office, today is attacking Republican legislation that would revive a ban on online gambling. In a report titled “Republicans’ Bad Bet,” the libertarian CEI says House and Senate bills by Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., respectively, would have a number of negative effects. “Not only does this heavy-handed proposal trample on state and individuals’ rights to make such decisions, it will utterly fail to stop Americans from gambling online,” pushing them into foreign-owned sites instead, the report says.

The lawmakers unveiled their legislation in March; at that point, Roll Call’s Niels Lesniewski wrote that both sides of the debate seemed to want to “get out of the regulatory no man’s land” created by the Justice Department’s 2011 reinterpretation of the Wire Act, which had blocked online gambling in the U.S. until that point.

In an April hearing before a House Appropriations subcommittee, Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. said the Justice Department could revisit the issue. “We’ll look at the statute,” Holder said in a response to questions from Rep. Frank R. Wolf, R-Va. “I don’t know what the — I frankly don’t know what the administration’s policy or policy determination would be with regard to that question, but we’ll certainly look at the statute and provide the technical assistance that might be required.”

Another libertarian organization, Reason magazine, also has criticized the Chaffetz/Graham legislation in a blog post in April, calling the measure the “Chaffetz-Graham-Adelson bill” because of the involvement of Republican mega-donor Sheldon Adelson, a Nevada-based casino magnate.

  • Joe

    1 of 2 things will begin to become obvious to the American people over the next 20 years as the technological savvy ones grow. Our government will continue to listen to its people as they were put in place for, or they will simply block issues from being voted on.

    History shows that the downfall of any
    Government is when the wealthiest abuse their power.

  • YONATAN C

    THE REPUBLICAN SENATE NEEDS TO PASS THE LONG AWAITED UNEMPLOYMENT EXTENSION BILL, FOR THE 2.6 MILLION OF FAMILIES THAT HAVE BEEN WITHOUT BENEFITS SINCE LAST DECEMBER. SINCE LAST DECEMBER, MILLIONS OF FAMILIES HAVE FACED FINANCIAL RUIN, HAVE FACED EVICTION, HOME FORECLOSURES, PERSONAL BANKRUPTCY, AND HOMELESSNESS, WHILE THE REPUBLICANS CONTINUE PLAYING THEIR “PARTY POLITICS” IN THE SENATE. THE TIME HAS COME FOR THE “ELECTED OFFICIALS” TO START REPRESENTING THE AMERICAN PEOPLE, AND NOT THE XL OIL PIPELINE LOBBY INTEREST. THAT IS THE REASON FOR THIS FIVE MONTH DELAY AND BATTLE IN THE SENATE TO PASS THE EXTENSION BILL. THE REPUBLICANS HAVE BEEN HOLDING THE EXTENSION BILL AS “HOSTAGE” UNTIL THEIR “SPECIAL INTEREST GROUP” GETS THEIR OIL PIPLINE APPROVED. THE REPUBLICANS HAVE ACTUALLY ASSISTED WITH MAKING THESE UNFORTUNATE FAMILIES SUFFER, IN ORDER TO GET THEIR OWN BILL PASSED BY THE PRESIDENT. AS A “FORMER” REPUBLICAN, I CAN HONESTLY SAY THAT I WILL NEVER AGAIN VOTE FOR THEIR PARTY..

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