Before she left Congress, Republican Mary Bono had argued that any Internet poker bill needs to “create a level playing field for all.”
Bono has teamed up with former Rep. Mike Oxley, an Ohio Republican, to be the voices of the Coalition for Consumer and Online Protection, which this month launched a campaign against a congressional ban of online gaming.
The group known as C4COP says “an online gaming ban simply would not work,” in part because it would limit states’ rights and would “stifle innovation and growth.”
That mission will put them in a high-stakes fight with casino mogul Sheldon Adelson, who has expressed a willingness to spend big bucks in order to ban Internet gambling.
“Congress can neither legislate the Internet away, nor consumer demand for online products. We need to do all we can to make sure that the Internet is a safe place for businesses, consumers, families and children,” Bono said in a statement released by C4COP. “I am proud to be a part of the Coalition for Consumer and Online Protection to make sure that people know the risks behind implementing such a ban.”
Bono is no stranger to the divisive issue.
She represented the Coachella Valley for more than 14 years — an area whose Indian tribes have an obvious stake in online gaming issues — and she convened hearings on the issue when she was chairwoman of the House Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade.
The self-described “recovering politician,” who still has a home in Palm Springs, is now a senior vice president for Washington-based FaegreBD Consulting.