Opposition to Sheldon Adelson's attempts to ban online gambling increased tenfold yesterday when 10 conservative organizations collectively sent a letter to top leaders of both the House and Senate Judiciary Committees blasting the proposed legislation.
Calling the Restoration of America's Wire Act (H.R. 4301) as introduced late last month by Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) "a broad overreach by the federal government over matters reserved for the states," the 10 groups urged Congress to stand against the measure, The Hill reported. The organizations contend that approval of the Adelson-backed legislation would set a dangerous precedent of"Internet censorship."
The letter dated yesterday was addressed to Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI), Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Chuck Grassley (R-IA). The first two lawmakers are members of the House Judiciary Committee, which the Virginia legislator chairs. The latter two are their counterparts on the Senate Judiciary Committee, with Leahy holding the role of chairman.
The organizations collectively registering their stance against the Graham/Chaffetz legislation include theInstitute for Policy Innovation, Alliance for Freedom, Competitive Enterprise Institute, American Consumer Institute, Independent Women's Forum, Freedom Action, R Street Institute, FreedomWorks, Institute for Liberty, and the Taxpayer Protection Alliance.
H.R. 4301 will reverse current law in many states and drastically increase the federal government's regulatory power," the letter said, insisting that a sweeping ban will not prevent online gambling. "Prohibiting states from legalizing and regulating the practice only ensures that it will be pushed back into the shadows where crime can flourish with little oversight."
The 10 united groups go on to say that an Internet gambling ban would allow offshore operators to continue targeting the American market without providing any consumer protections. That view is identical to the pro-online gambling forces of the Poker Players Alliance, American Gaming Association, and the Coalition for Consumer and Online Protection.