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Sheldon Adelson's Draft of Internet Gambling Control Act Leaked

Sheldon Adelson

It’s no secret that Las Vegas Sands CEO Sheldon Adelson is an opponent of online poker. He’s been vocal regarding his concerns on “moral grounds,” and has indicated that he will fight against iGaming no matter the cost. Now, along with his Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling, he has drafted the Internet Gambling Control Act, an anti-online poker bill that was recently leaked and made public by Marco Valerio on AgentMarco.com.

The bill aims to amend the Wire Act so that it applies to iGaming, which would reverse the Department of Justice’s landmark 2011 clarification on 18 U.S.C. § 1084 (the Wire Act).

The bill, which you can view in its entirety here, looks to “restore long-standing United States policy that the Wire Act prohibits Internet gambling to give Congress and the public time to fully examine the issues surrounding Internet gambling, including the potential for money laundering, fraud, terrorism financing, cyber-crimes and participation by minors, and for other purposes.”

It also states that within two years of the bill’s passage, the FBI will conduct a study on:

  • The potential for use of Internet gambling sites for money laundering; including through players acting in concert in online poker and other games;
  • The extent to which terrorist organizations could us Internet gambling to launder and transfer funds;
  • The potential use of Internet gambling sites for cyber-crimes;
  • Whether the technology exists for participants to manipulate online poker and other games for fraudulent of other purposes; and
  • The availability of technology which can be used to prevent participation by minors in Internet gambling and determine the location of an individual placing a bet on an Internet gambling site; and whether such technology can be defeated or circumvented through the use of technology, fraud or other means.

Finally, the bill seeks clarification of the Wire Act by both expanding the terms “wire communication” and “any sporting event of contest.” Here’s a look at that portion of the bill:

Wire Act Clarification.
18 USC § 1084 is amended by adding at the end, the following:
(f) For the purposes of this Act:
(1) the term “wire communication” includes the Internet, and any activity which involves the use, at least in part, of the Internet.
(2) the term “any sporting event or contest” includes games in part or predominantly subject to chance, including games in which players compete against each other, and not against any person, entity, or fellow player hosting the game, the outcome of which, over any significant interval, is predominantly determined by the skill of the players, and the purchase of a chance or opportunity to win a lottery or other prize (which opportunity to win is predominantly subject to chance).

It’s important to remember that the Internet Gambling Control Act is only a preliminary draft and has no official sponsors.

*Lead photo courtesy of politico.com.

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