Ten conservative organizations are protesting legislation designed to help one of the richest men in the world warning that it violates federalism, opens the door to regulation of the Internet and is an pure example of crony capitalism.
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), and Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), have introduced legislation known as the Restoration of America’s Wire Act as a way to helping billionaire casino owner Sheldon Adelson stamp out competition coming from states that have legalized online gaming. Adelson's minions have testified that the movement in the states will have devastating impact on Las Vegas and the Sands Corporation's bottom line.
Led by David Williams, the President of Taxpayers Protection Alliance, the letter to Congress notes that “TPA has many concerns with the Restoration of America’s Wire Act, which would essentially ban Internet gaming across the country,” said Williams. “This legislation goes too far by interjecting the federal government in what has traditionally been a state issue. Additionally, the legislation would not stop online gambling and would instead embolden criminals to prey on consumers in a black market that is typically operated abroad with little oversight. I encourage the chairmen and ranking members of the House and Senate Judiciary Committees to stand strong against this gross overreach by the federal government.” Williams concluded, “this legislation is also a backdoor attempt to regulate the Internet.
The complete letter sent to Congress reads as follows:
Dear Chairmen Goodlatte and Leahy, and Ranking Members Conyers and Grassley,
We, the undersigned individuals and organizations, are writing to express our deep concerns about
the Restoration of America’s Wire Act (H.R. 4301), which would institute a de facto ban on internet gaming in all 50 states. The legislation is a broad overreach by the federal government over matters traditionally reserved for the states. H.R. 4301 will reverse current law in many states and drastically increase the federal government’s regulatory power. As we have seen in the past, a ban will not stop 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. In this black market, where virtually all sites are operated from abroad, consumers have little to no protection from predatory behavior.
Perhaps even more concerning is the fact that this bill allows the federal government to take a heavy hand in regulating the Internet, opening the door for increased Internet regulation in the future. By banning a select form of Internet commerce, the federal government is setting a troubling precedent and providing fodder to those who would like to see increased Internet regulation in the future. We fear that H.R. 4301 will begin a dangerous process of internet censorship that will simultaneously be circumvented by calculated international infringers while constraining the actions of private individuals and companies in the United States.
H.R. 4301 also creates carve-outs that exempt certain special interests from the federal government’s reach. This amounts to the federal government picking winners and losers – choosing select industries or private-sector businesses to succeed at the expense of others, which is at odds with free-market competition.
In total, H.R. 4301 is an inappropriate and unnecessary use of federal powers that infringes on the rights of individuals and states. We applaud you for standing against this government overreach and preserving the principles of federalism and free-market competition that underscore American democracy.
Joe Jansen, Alliance for Freedom
Steve Pociask, President, American Consumer Institute
Michelle Minton, Fellow, Competitive Enterprise Institute
Matt Kibbe, President, FreedomWorks
Coley Jackson, President, Freedom Action
Carrie Lukas, Managing Director, Independent Women’s Forum
Andrew Langer, President, Institute for Liberty
Tom Giovanetti, President, Institute for Policy Innovation
Eli Lehrer, President, R Street Institute
David Williams, President, Taxpayer Protection Alliance