Congress Should NOT Ban the Unconstitutional Effort to Ban Online Gambling
What is the need for this legislation? Only three states currently allow online Internet gaming: Nevada, New Jersey, and Delaware. RAWA would make online gambling illegal in all 50 states. And it has sweeping consequences for the structure of our government.
We all recognize that states can have conservative laws against gambling, while other states like Nevada can have casinos on every corner and allow online gaming.
That was what our founders intended: for the citizens of each state to set the moral standards that govern in that particular state. The founders specifically stated in the Tenth Amendment that powers NOT delegated to the federal government were reserved to the states or the people.
RAWA seeks to change that historic structure of the states governing themselves by having the federal government dictate gambling laws for everyone. That shift furthers the idea of a strong central government requiring uniformity in all states instead of recognizing the uniqueness of each individual state’s laws.
RAWA has other unintended (or possibly intended) consequences. Most states allow their lottery tickets to be purchased online. The lottery brings in millions of dollars for education and other state programs! RAWA would outlaw those operations, imposing a federal prohibition on all such sales.
While casino magnates like Sheldon Adelson may support outlawing online games as a way to drive business to their brick-and-mortar casinos, most who oppose gambling should recognize this as a subtle attempt to centralize even more power in Washington. How has that worked in the past!
Finally, in my opinion, legislation that opens the door to unintended consequences is the most dangerous kind of lawmaking effort in D.C. Many states have historically dealt with gambling laws without federal interference and should continue to do so.