RAWA Supporters May Be In For More Than They Bargained For

The Restoration of America’s Wire Act, otherwise known as RAWA, has been a hot topic of debate for months now. The legislation was introduced by Jason Chaffetz, a representative of the state of Utah, and would put a stop to online poker and essentially all gaming within the US on a federal level. The legislation has its supporters and of course opponents and now it seems the supporters may be in for more than they bargained for with the legislation.

While the measure was created to prevent online poker and gaming from taking place, it seems the legislation may also affect the mobile sports betting industry of Las Vegas Nevada. Reports have surfaced, namely one by the Las Vegas Journal-Review, that states the bill is being interpreted as to having unintended effect on other areas of gaming. Las Vegas sports books use mobile devices for sports betting and the option has become quite popular. With the legislation, it may see this area of gaming shut down based on the language of the bill.

Joe AsherJoe Asher, of William Hill, stated that the intent of the bill does not seem to be to affect the sports betting industry, this may be an unintended consequence of the measure. Asher is the Chief Executive officer of WH, the company behind the mobile operations in regards to sports betting in Las Vegas for many facilities.

Asher continued to state that thousands of Nevada residents use mobile devices to place sports wagers in a manner that is regulated and appropriate. To take away this ability for the customer to wager with ease, in a key area of growth in the industry, does not make sense according to Asher.

The idea that the bill could affect the sports wagering industry via mobile devices comes from Greg Gemignani, a gaming attorney of Las Vegas. The attorney conducted research of the online gaming law and found that mobile betting in the state uses transmission towers located in Arizona, Utah or California to transmit information due to Nevada terrain and usage issues. Private internet networks are also used by certain casinos in the state to have more powerful servers. With RAWA, these actions would not be allowed due to the movement outside of state.

Nevada operators are now looking at these findings with trepidation as the industry could suffer greatly if sports betting was banned as part of the RAWA legislation, if passed. According to the research on the matter, sports betting brings in a ton of cash each year, with $3.9 billion earned in 2014. It seems as though mobile betting could hold as much as 30% of the total gaming from 2014 and this would be a huge amount taken away if prohibited.

Sheldon Adelson of the Las Vegas Sands, is a driving force behind the legislation, and has gained support for the measure. However, casino operators and gaming officials are leaning against the proposal as they do not want their gaming options as well as revenues to be affected. With these new findings, it seems as though proponents may gain even more supporters as the sports betting industry does not want to lose their mobile offerings.

The battle continues back and forth as Adelson pushes his measure on a federal level as well as attacks individual states who are looking to pass regulation. In Pennsylvania, the Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling sent out mailers to try and persuade voters to be on their side, claiming residents do not want to see online gaming legislation passed into law. The group seems to stop at nothing to try and push their agenda on the people of the US.