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When Corporate Welfare Trumps States' Rights
05/04/2015 at 06:28 am - David Williams

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This article originally appeared in Inside Sources on April 28, 2015

U.S. Representative Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) is inexplicably on a mission to insert the federal government into state policies regarding gaming within state borders. Rep. Chaffetz’s stealthily titled bill, the “Restoration of America’s Wire Act,” would prohibit states from allowing online gaming.  This is a move that could also negatively impact state lottery programs, reversing the decades-long trend of allowing states to self-determine gaming policies. Instead, it prioritizes another Congressional tradition: corporate welfare and crony capitalism. The movement behind the legislation is being funded by billionaire casino magnate Sheldon Adelson. In fact, there are some reports that Adelson is doing more than funding the effort – his lobbyist literally wrote the bill. If it sounds strange that a casino owner is pushing a bill to outlaw a form of gaming, it shouldn’t. In 2014, the brick-and-mortar business worked out well for him; he raked in $3.8 billion in profits. The problem with banning online gaming is that it already exists, but it is just relegated to the shadows. A quick Internet search reveals that anyone with a credit card can start betting on any number of shady operators overseas. In any potential legalized U.S. gaming system, there would be an eight-point verification process, including Social Security number verification.  This would be more than enough to catch fraud and ensure consumer protections.


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