Anti-online poker AG wins Nevada GOP primary

In an easy victory, Adam Laxalt, Nevada’s Attorney General, won the GOP ticket for the state gubernatorial election to be held this November.  The 39-year-old Laxalt, who has long been an opponent to online gambling, will face off against the Democratic Party nominee, Clark County Commissioner Steve Sisolak.  If Laxalt wins in November, it could have detrimental effects for online gambling in the state. 

Laxalt, who is backed by both President Trump and casino billionaire Sheldon Adelson, could become the state’s fourth Republican governor.  The race for the governor is expected to be an expensive one, but this isn’t an issue when you have the deep pockets of Adelson at the ready to fuel the campaign.  Adelson, along with his wife, has already given Laxalt $50,000 for the primary race. 

Adelson has pushed for, and has financially backed, the Restoration of America’s Wire Act (RAWA).  The bill could roll back the clock on the Wire Act to where it was before 2011 and could effectively ban online gambling.  Laxalt has also been a proponent of RAWA. 

RAWA looks to overturn a 2011 Department of Justice opinion that says, "interstate transmissions of wire communications that do not relate to a ‘sporting event or contest’ fall outside the reach of the Wire Act.”  Laxalt was one of ten state attorneys who drafted a letter to incoming VP Pence in 2016 requesting that the administration review the case.  So far, RAWA hasn’t met with a great deal of success; however, having Laxalt as governor of Nevada could prove to alter the online gambling landscape in the state.

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