Adelson Puppets Graham and Feinstein Seek Wire Act Opinion Reversal

Updated: November 28th, 2017 by Haley Hintze

Last week, Sheldon Adelson-sponsored US Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) wrote a letter to the United States’ Deputy Attorney General, Rod Rosenstein, asking Rosenstein to “revisit” and “withdraw” the landmark 2011 opinion written by then-US Attorney General Eric Holder declaring that the US’s 1961 Wire Act ban on wagering-related communications applied only to sports betting.

The impact of such a reversal, should Rosenstein actually consider it, is clear. It would effectively ban all internet-based gambling in the US with the exception of horse racing and a few other select activities, and would effectively wipe out the existing regulated online-gambling and online-poker markets in Nevada, Delaware and New Jersey. A fourth and more populous state, Pennsylvania, has also approved online gambling, and this pleading by Graham and Feinstein, if allowed, would usurp the “states rights” will of Pennsylvania’s legislature as well.

Graham and Feinstein are major recipients of benefactor Adelson’s largesse, and both have appeared prominently in connection with the activities of the Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling (CSIG), the astroturf lobbying group funded by Adelson and his company, Las Vegas Sands Corporation. Graham and Feinstein have also been sponsors of the “RAWA” (Restoration of America’s Wire Act) bill, literally written by Las Vegas Sands Corp.’s lobbyists.

That bill has failed to gain the necessary traction in Congress to move forward, much to the multi-billionaire Adelson’s chagrin.

Given that Adelson also mounted an unsuccessful campaign in Pennsylvania to stop that state from legalizing and regulating online gambling, he’s now moved his focus back to the federal scene, in something of a last-ditch effort. Adelson has long claimed that forcing would-be gamblers to visit his land-based casinos is far more virtuous and moralistic than allowing them to gamble online, though it’s only one facet of the greed and vileness often demonstrated by what is perhaps the globe’s most evil casino owner.

Graham in particular has long been in Adelson’s pocket, and Feinstein, an acknowledged nanny-stater, is often too self-righteous to see issues broadly and objective. Together, as leading members of the US Senate’s Judiciary Committee, they’ve still failed to con or coerce enough other Senate members into doing Adelson’s crony-capitalism bidding.

Perhaps the worst part of the Graham/Feinstein letter to Rosenstein, which was released to the public yesterday by the PPA, is that it is stuffed with little but lies and fear-mongering. Take this excerpt, for instance:

“The FBI has concluded that ‘[o]nline casinos are vulnerable to a wide array of criminal schemes,’ including money laundering and ventures by transnational organized crime groups.”

Except the FBI analyst who typed that wrote it in connection with unregulated offshore sites, not ones who are vetted and licensed by US states’ own regulatory and oversight agencies. Such a bald-faced twisting of the facts is shameful, but then again, it’s standard Graham (and Adelson’s lobbyists) on the topic.

Then there’s this excerpt, immediately following the above, which packs in a triple dose of shameful falsehoods and misdirections:

“Of particular concern to us, as senior members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, is whether the FBI has the resources to effectively oversee a robust internet gambling industry to assure online casinos are not being used for criminal activities, and to protect the interests of states who prohibit internet gambling.”

Except that the FBI is not and would not be the primary enforcement body regarding regulated intrastate (within a state) online gambling transactions, so that part is moot. More important: The implicit declaration that the whole concept of “states rights” appears to be valid for Graham and Feinstein is when it’s to support their fear of imagined damage to their own point of view on the topic.

And it’s not only imagined damage, it’s nonexistent. If a state decides not to allow internet-based gambling, that’s its collective right. But these legislators and their states have no legal interest under the states-rights concept in trying to inflict a ban on such gambling in other US states or across the entire country as a whole. It’s the same legal end-run that another Adelson-purchased jackalope, former US Rep. Jason Chaffetz, tried to sell the US House in connection with the RAWA bills a couple of years ago. It was a lie then and it’s a lie today as well.

If it’s casinos in those anti-online-gambling that just seek to damage their competition, well, that’s too damn bad. But that’s not the selling point. Instead, it’s the false fear-mongering that citizens from an unregulated or banned state (even including children(!) according to Graham and Feinstein), will somehow be able to gamble on regulated sites in other states. This is all but impossible: All regulated sites employ strict “Know Your Customer” (KYC) and geolocation protocols that establish beyond all reasonable doubt that a new customer isn’t Lindsey Graham’s 12-year-old nephew from Myrtle Beach.

The performance of all online casinos in such protective matters as preventing underage gambling already far exceeds that of Adelson’s own casinos, not that it’d get mentioned in the Graham / Feinstein letter.

Anyhow, it’s out there, and at least in Rosenstein’s hands for some form of consideration. The fact that the letter was addressed to Deputy USAG Rosenstein and not to sitting USAG Jeffrey Sessions is itself something of an intriguing matter, given that Sessions is a long-time, ardent gambling foe. It may reflect the widespread belief that the corrupt Sessions is soon to be out the door, whether voluntary or as a result of legal action, and that Rosenstein will be the acting USAG soon enough.

Still, it’s just more Adelson, when all the veneer is stripped away, a greedy and evil troglodyte still seeking to quash the will of the majority — and the legal system — of the US in support of his own moneygrubbing desires. Some things never change at that.

Comments are closed.