Sheldon Adelson Holds Discussions with GOP Members of the Judiciary Committee
Sheldon Adelson held talks with key Republican members of the House Judiciary Committee in January 2015, in hopes of persuading the GOP lawmakers to pass Restoration of America’s Wire Act in the new legislative year. Sheldon Adelson, who made the most money of anyone in history on the gambling industry, wants to ban online gambling for fears iGaming websites would be predatory towards compulsive gamblers.
The president and found of Las Vegas Sands Corporation also happens to be one of the biggest political donors in the United States, which is why the Republican politicians would grant him an audience. In 2012, Adelson contributed $90 million to conservative candidates, making him the biggest political contribute in the 2012 U.S. Presidential elections. He has vowed to spend more in 2016, and has said he would spend “whatever it takes” to see online gambling banned comprehensively.
Updating Government Officials
The recent meetings were used by Adelson to update government officials on the gaming market, but were also used as strategy sessions, sources close to Adelson revealed. LVS’s staff and members of the discussion group were unwilling to discuss more than that brief description what was being discussed. One aide with directed knowledge of the House Judiciary Committee denied that the briefing was coordinated or organized as an official committee meeting.
It would make sense for Sheldon Adelson to give his views on the world gaming market. Last year at this time, Adelson sat as the 8th richest person on the planet, holding about $38 billion–give or take a billion dollars. A year later, Forbes estimates that Adelson is worth about $27 billion, making him roughly the 23rd richest person on Earth. While that is still impressive by any standards, losing $11 billion in a year can undermine confidence in a political donor.
$10 Billion in Lost Revenues
The losses came in the Macau gaming market, which saw a 30% decline in the second half of 2014, due to Xi Jinping’s anti-corruption campaign in Macau. Las Vegas Sands, which owns the Venetian Macau and the Sands Macau, lost closer to 40% of their revenues, while stocks were down 30% to 40% throughout the end of the year. That is a huge loss, so Adelson needed to address the politicians he bankrolls in order to assure them he is still set on ending online gambling in America, that he has the means to donate a hundred million dollars in the next presidential campaign cycle, and he will back them if they do his bidding.
RAWA Legislation to Be Debated in 2015
Speaking of Sheldon Adelson’s politicians, the two men who are championing Restoration of America’s Wire Act the most are in a stronger position to start the 2015 Congressional legislative sessions. Representative Jason Chaffetz is now the chairman of the Government Oversight and Reform Committee, making him the only man in the House of Representatives to issue subpoenas without committee approval (though, by tradition, he still asks).
Lindsey Graham now sits on the Senate Judiciary Committee, which is why he was harassing Attorney General Loretta Lynch on Wednesday about her opinion on whether unregulated online gambling sites fund terrorist cells. For his part, Chaffetz sits on the important House Judiciary Committee.
U.S. Congress – Judiciary Committees
The House Judiciary Committee for the 114th Congress includes well-known GOP politicians like Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI), Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), and Lamar S. Smith (R-TX). Texas has four Republican members, while Ohio, Michigan, and California has two members apiece. Among the Democrats on the committee are famous congressional representatives like John Conyers (D-MI), Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), and Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-TX). Four California Democrats are part of this wing of the commit, along with two New Yorkers and Pedro Pierluisi of Puerto Rico.
The Senate Judiciary Committee has 11 Republicans and 9 Democrats. By their very nature, U.S. Senators are a bit more famous than U.S. Representatives, because there are fewer of them and they tend to be politicians who have worked their way up through the system. Famous Republicans members include Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Jeff Sessions (R-AL), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), John Cornyn (R-TX), and Ted Cruz (R-TX). Prominent Democrats include Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Dianna Feinstein (D-CA), Chuch Schumer (D-NY), Dick Durbin (D-IL), and Al Franken (D-MN).
The judiciary committee in the Senate has oversight of judicial matters, including presidential appointments. The committees also have jurisdiction over matters pertaining to criminal law, including federal gaming laws. Matters discussed on these committees include immigration laws, human rights issues, antitrust cases, intellectual property rights, and Internet privacy issues. These councils also discuss any proposed Constitutional amendments, though these are rare.