The threat of US online poker being shutdown in 2015 has finally come to an end thanks to a political veto on the Restoration of America’s Wire Act (RAWA).
Disseminated to the online poker community via a Facebook post from the PPA’s Rich Muny but originally reported by Politico, the announcement outlined that RAWA had been omitted from the end of year Congressional bill on spending.
Because the omnibus bill is designed to set out the spending provisions for a variety of government operations in 2016, it’s considered to be a must-pass measure.
Therefore, any policies attached to the bill by lawmakers and special interest groups would be given special attention in the New Year.
Fortunately for online poker players in the three states currently offering iGaming (New Jersey, Delaware and Nevada), Sheldon Adelson’s RAWA bill wasn’t one of the policies accepted onto the omnibus bill.
Although this doesn’t mean the anti-online bill will be going away any time soon, it’s certainly another encouraging sign for the iGaming industry. In fact, this latest announcement comes 12 months after Senator Harry Reid’s in 2014 attempt to have RAWA accepted on 2014’s omnibus bill.
That political apathy for the anti-online poker bill in 2014 set the tone for another year of rejection and that could suggest RAWA will be given the same treatment by political decision makers in 2016.
Of course, this isn’t the first blow RAWA has received in December.
Just last week the bill was given a chance to shine during a meeting of the House Oversight Committee. Championed by Chairman of the committee Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), the bill received very little support during the hearing.
Despite offering a handful of anecdotal evidence, Chaffetz and his supporters were left wanting when pressed for hard evidence by members of the committee.
That bout of apathy, combined with the latest news that RAWA didn’t make it onto the omnibus spending bill, have been enough to raise at least a few smiles across the US poker community.
In fact, after learning of Muny’s post, a wave of positive comments flooded in from those RAWA could directly effect.
“RAWA went into a coma following the most recent Chaffetz hearing. Next of kin is preparing to pull the plug,” wrote Steve Ruddock.
As members of the industry know all too well, this likely won’t be the last we hear of RAWA. However, if RAWA is a poker hand right now, it would certainly 7-2 offsuit against pocket aces.