Billionaire and casino magnate Sheldon Adelson is attempting to create a monopoly for land-based casinos in the United States with the passing of the Restoration of America’s Wire Act. The passing of this legislation would result in the total illegalization of internet gambling in the United States, allowing casino owners such as Adelson, who own the Sands Casino, easier inroads to creating monopolies by limiting the competition to those who can afford to build lavish casino resorts. The United States has fought the construction of commercial monopolies for over a hundred years and is considered the world’s strongest proponent for a full capitalistic system and the passing and implementing of a modern version of the American Wire Act would do exactly that.
Mr. Adelson has been a large supporter of the Republican Party in both the 2012 and 2016 elections and was the largest private supporter of Republican Donald Trump’s run for the U.S. Presidency. Adelson had enlisted the help of two long-time Republican Senators, Lindsey Graham (SC) and Marco Rubio (FL) in pushing forward with what is blatant protectionist legislation that will allow Adelson and others to grow their companies and their bankbooks by decreasing their competition with outdated legislation that is no longer needed.
The bill has proven to be unpopular with both Republicans and Democrats in the House and Senate this last year, as most see it for what it really is, protectionism for a select few, allowing a small group to control a type of business that can create vast amounts of profits. The bill also failed to gain any momentum in 2014 as many see the gambling as a state’s rights issues due to the fact that most states run their own lotteries and many states have casinos run on and by Native American Tribes. Some larger states that have both, including California, Michigan and Pennsylvania may be on the cusp of legalizing online betting, making the passage of RAWA even more unlikely.
Adelson seems to be the only land-based casino magnate who feels that this is important enough to sink large amounts of money into. Many other companies are looking to expand into internet gambling as a means of extending their reach and expanding their businesses without the large overhead that new casinos and resorts cost. Many in the industry see Adelson as a Don Quixote-like figure that is battling the future to keep his private castles meaningful.