Marco Rubio bashes Internet Casinos during SC Campaign

Florida Senator Marco Rubio spent plenty of time campaigning in South Carolina prior to Saturday’s GOP debate there. And one of the more-interesting issues that he was asked about in a town hall meeting involved online gambling. Unfortunately, Rubio took this as a chance to bash online casinos.

“That problem with that, I’m very concerned about expanding gaming online … what I don’t want to see is internet casinos, because I have seen gambling addiction ruin families, I have seen gambling expansion ruin people’s lives,” he said.

While the 44-year-old is against most forms of internet gaming, he did say that making a carve-out for poker would be a possibility. But by and large, he’s not a fan of online gambling because he feels that people might spend their money unwisely.

“I’m very concerned about expansion of gaming in a way that reaches people beyond games of skill, so that’s what I’m open on,” Rubio told supporters. “But I’m not open to explaining gambling online in a way that I think you’re going to find 17-year-olds and retirees and everyone in between running up huge, huge debt on their credit cards and on their lives and the expansion of gambling is very dangerous for the company.”

As Breitbart points out, Rubio co-sponsored a bill in 2015 that would tighten the Federal Wire Act of 1961, which is supposed to make gambling across state lines illegal. However, the U.S. Department of Justice offered their opinion that the Wire Act only applies to sports betting.

Sheldon Adelson, owner of the Las Vegas Sands Corp, has been fighting the U.S. DoJ’s opinion ever since while pushing the Restoration of America’s Wire Act (RAWA). Rubio championed this legislation along with South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham. But so far, RAWA has failed to gain traction despite Adelson throwing millions at its promotion.

While it’s possible that Rubio legitimately doesn’t like online gaming, the more likely reason for his anti-gambling stance involves Adelson’s backing. During the 2014 election cycle, Adelson spent over $100 million backing certain GOP candidates. And while he has yet to pick a favorite GOP Presidential candidate, rumor has it that he favors Rubio. If Rubio were to win the GOP nomination and win the Presidency as well, it would be interesting to see how hard he’d push RAWA while in office.