OSGA: Why Paul Ryan Is a Bad Choice for Expanded Gaming


In an Offshore Gaming Association editorial, columnist Hartley Henderson explains why Mitt Romney's selection of Wisconsin Representative Paul Ryan as his vice presidential running mate is not a good choice for expanded gaming, should the Republican party take office.

Many in the gaming industry hoped Romeny would choose the more socially liberal Ron Paul or Chris Christie. But he went with Ryan, "who is effectively Romney’s clone," Henderson writes. "On every issue from abortion to stem cell research to gay marriage Ryan has voted the same way as Romney, i.e. against it, and for gambling expansion Ryan never really voted one way or another, although he did vote in favor of banning credit card usage for online gambling in 2003 and he abstained from voting on pro-gambling bills in 2006."

Ryan has voted with his party on bills over 95 percent of the time, according to Henderson, and "will just be a yes man to the Presidential hopeful, which certainly won’t help online gambling interests, since Romney was clear as day at a speech in Nevada that he opposed any gambling expansion."

The pair have also been closely linked to Las Vegas Sands owner Sheldon Adelson—a strong opponent of expanded gambling. Adelson believes Internet gaming would cripple brick and mortar casino play. And, Adelson recently told Romney-Ryan he is willing to spend up to $100 million to defeat the Democrats in this election.

At a recent conference in Niagara Falls, Henderson asked Larry Walters, a first amendment attorney who is also considered an expert on the online gambling industry, who he would recommend gamblers vote for if their main concern is the legalization and regulation of online gambling stateside.

“With Romney we know what we’re getting," Walters told Henderson. "He has gone on the record that he opposes any expansion and access to gambling including online gambling. So anyone who is interested in expanding into the area of online gambling would be foolish to support Romney. We don’t necessarily know what we’re getting with Obama since he’s never gone on the record opposing online gambling expansion.”

Walters also noted that it was under Obama’s rule that the Department of Justice issued a reverse opinion on the Wire Act.