Nevada’s Attorney General Adama Laxal on Tuesday announced via his Twitter account that he had officially filed the necessary paperwork to run for the state’s Governor this fall. This particular move has caught the eye of the gambling community, especially poker enthusiasts since the lawmaker is extremely against online poker and he has been very vocal about it.
Laxalt’ stance with regard to online poker became known towards the end of 2015 when he confirmed that he would be signing a letter with some other state Attorney Generals in support of Sheldon Adelson’s Restoration of America’s Wire Act (RAWA) bill. Sheldon Adelson, the CEO of the renowned Las Vegas Sands Corp., is known for being a Republican donor and his passionate campaign towards having online gambling completely outlawed in the United States. This is despite the fact that online gambling is now legal in four states, a number that is likely to increase soon, and that a number of Las Vegas Sands Corp.’s competitors like Caesars Entertainment and MGM Resorts are backing online gaming.
The aspiring Governor reiterated his position in 2016 in a letter addressed to the then newly-elected Donald Trump Administration. In the letter, Laxalt, along with nine other state Attorney Generals asked for online poker to be banned. However, unfortunately for them, President Donald Trump, who happens to be a former casino owner and operator took a neutral stance in this case.
Furthermore, the online gambling ban at the federal level is rather unlikely owing to the vast bipartisan opposition. In fact, a decent number of stakeholders and interested parties have pointed out that a ban of such kind will violate states’ rights. Laxalt, who allegedly has other controversial ties to Adelson, has been strongly rebuked by fellow Republican, Sandoval, over this.
“I am very concerned that anyone representing the state’s legal interests would speak out against current state law in our leading industry,” Sandoval said. “At its core, this is a state’s rights issue and I disagree with the Attorney General that a federal government one-size-fits-all solution is in the best interest of Nevada.”
Sandoval is the former state regulator that signed Nevada’s online poker legislation. He also brokered the online poker liquidity sharing deals with Delaware and New Jersey. Both of these actions were an effort towards growing or nurturing the regulated online poker market.