• Beware Of Congressional Crony Giveaways To Las Vegas Billionaires In 2015

    Crapitalism, GOP-style

    Outlining his top Ten New Year’s Resolutions for Congress, Ron Paul has placed ending corporate welfare in his top five. As Paul noted, corporate welfare comes in all shapes and sizes, from bailouts and tax provisions to efforts to stem competition from rivals. That is what the campaign to outlaw states from legalizing Internet gaming is all about.

    Las Vegas billionaire Sheldon Adelson has targeted the rise of Internet gaming as a threat to his brick and mortar casino empire. With states like New Jersey legalizing online gaming for their citizens, Adelson has promised to spend “whatever it takes” to have the federal government intervene to prohibit states from deciding for themselves whether to legalize and regulate online gaming. Adelson is living up to his word.

    Having aligned an army of lobbyists and PR consultants, Adelson bankrolled the grasstops outfit called the Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling. The group has brought together an ad hoc coalition of interests eager to put their own views, and financial interests ahead of constitutional principles. A quick scan of supporters shows everyone from Loving Saints Christian Fellowship to the Bonaza casino. The group is the quintessential “Baptist and Bootlegger” coalition, a term coined by Bruce Yandle, who has demonstrated that regulations to benefit sin industries have often turned to religious groups to try to gain the moral high ground in what is nothing less than a crony power play.

    The Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling claims it wants to stop gambling from entering our ” living rooms and onto our smartphones, tablets and home computers 24 hours a day without necessary protections.” The claim is a fraud. Internet gambling exists today, legal or not. Most online gambling sites are based in foreign countries and are easily accessible on your iPhone or tablet today. And yes, you can access them in your living room! Guess what, they legislation being pushed by Adelson does nothing to prevent Americans from accessing those sites.

    In fact, states that have legalized and regulated Internet gambling are ensuring that “necessary protections” are in place so under-aged people do not participate. In addition to trampling the Tenth Amendment, passing the Adelson bill would destroy those protections

    Despite the obvious reality that the Adelson-backed effort is nothing short than a form of corporate welfare that benefits one of the richest men on earth, some in Congress continue to push his agenda. There was even a last ditch campaign to throw the Adelson bill on to the “Cromibus” at the end of the last Congress. As bad as the “Cromnibus” was, the addition of the Adelson bill would have made it the “Cronybus.”

    Conservative and Libertarian groups around the nation are on watch and expect Adleson to ramp up his campaign once again. If you value the Tenth Amendment and oppose corporate welfare, this legislation should be on the top of your watch list for 2015.

    Roberto Escoban

    Roberto Escoban is the pen name of a conservative activist who spent 20 years working in Washington including a decade on Capitol Hill.

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