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Outlook for online gambling in U.S. discussed at conference

Online GamblingOnline Gambling: Outlook for online gambling in U.S. discussed at conference
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On the heels of a House Judiciary Committee hearing on a bill proposing an independent study on the feasibility of legalizing and regulating online gambling, former Senator Alfonse D'Amato, chairman of Poker Players Alliance, said he expects the legalization of online poker in the United States within 18 months.

The panelists in the State of the Industry: Internet Gambling at the Crossroads keynote session at Global Gaming Expo (G2E) said pending sanctions by the World Trade Organization due to current U.S. policy on Internet gambling could be the major driver for legalization because non-gaming corporations likely to be affected by the sanctions could put pressure on Congress to make a change.

G2E 2007 was held last week, Nov. 13-15, at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

The panelists in the State of the Industry session included D'Amato; J. Terrence Lanni, chairman and CEO of MGM MIRAGE; Gary Loveman, chairman, CEO and president of Harrah's Entertainment, Inc.; and Andre Wilsenach, CEO of the Alderney Gambling Control Commission.

The panelists said they expect online poker to be legalized prior to other online casino-style games. According to the panel, one reason poker and other games of skill are likely to be legalized before other games is the energy and interest engaged in having skill games legalized.

D'Amato's Poker Players Alliance, which he said boasts more than 800,000 members, is an example of the organized interest in legalizing online poker. Referencing Congress' passage of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) last year, D'Amato said, "I'm ashamed of them for coming into your house and telling you what you can do."

There was consensus among the panelists that it is possible to successfully regulate Internet gambling to prevent underage gambling and ensure player protection, but these types of protections don't currently exist across the board.

With the U.S. ban on Internet gambling keeping well-known, reputable companies out of the marketplace, the panelists expressed concern about player protection in an environment dominated by unregulated or poorly regulated sites.

"I am afraid the U.S. customer today is very exposed — there's no player protection," Wilsenach said.

Wilsenach highlighted a distinct difference in the mindset of U.S. regulators and U.K. regulators when it comes to regulating Internet gambling. In the United States, he said, the concern is how an Internet gambling site will exclude players, but in the United Kingdom and other jurisdictions, the concern is how each site will handle player protection.

To provide an example of how an Internet gambling site can be responsibly run, Lanni described MGM MIRAGE's experience with running a site on the Isle of Man that did not accept wagers from the United States. According to Lanni, the technology put in place for the site allowed the company to ascertain where a player lived, verify the player's age and also provide a problem gambling component.

While the technology was viable, competing with unregulated companies that did not put the same stringent screening processes in place made the project economically infeasible, Lanni said. He emphasized, however, that the company now has experience with the technology required to keep underage gamblers from playing and is ready to "unpack" it once online gambling is legalized in the United States.

Lanni asserted the value of having established, trusted brands in the marketplace, saying that the major brands give people the comfort they want and the assurance that customers will receive the payout. He cited a survey showing that around 70 percent of online gamblers aren't confident in the integrity of the online sites they frequent as evidence of the importance of having well-known brands in the mix.

According to Loveman, Harrah's already is exploring the possibility of expanding its World Series of Poker brand by creating Internet gambling sites in countries where it is legal to do so.

Both Lanni and Loveman emphasized that they have no desire to explore jurisdictions where the laws may be unclear — any work they do in the Internet gambling sector will only be done in places where the activity is clearly permissible by law.

When asked whether Internet gambling should be regulated at the state or federal level if legalized, Lanni and Loveman both supported state-level regulation. Lanni explained that the states currently are responsible for gaming regulation, and they do it very effectively.  He pointed out that the federal entities that would be charged with regulating Internet gambling under legislation currently being considered in Congress aren't able to fulfill all of their current duties, and that adding this responsibility to their bailiwick makes no sense.

D'Amato surmised that Internet gambling will probably be addressed by an amalgam of both federal- and state-level regulation.

In a question-and-answer session with attendees, the panelists were asked about the issues posed by gambling and gambling-like activities in online social applications such as Second Life.

Loveman pointed out that several online applications provide users the opportunity to win a virtual asset of some kind and then turn around and sell it for real money on online auction sites. He explained that these types of transactions that commercialize intangible objects and a variety of other legal online financial transactions start to resemble online gambling in a way that makes the current ban on online gambling appear hypocritical.

G2E is the leading trade event for the international gaming entertainment community, attended by more than 28,000 industry professionals from around the world.

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7 comments. Last comment 9 years ago by time*treat.
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LANTERN's avatar - kilroy 28_173_reasonably_small.jpg
Tx
United States
Member #4570
May 4, 2004
5180 Posts
Offline
Posted: November 20, 2007, 12:58 pm - IP Logged

This does not mean that the state lotteries will allow people to do lottery gambling online, except only with themselves.

They might not want any competition, they might want to keep their monopoly.

    gocart1's avatar - lighthouse
    ONEONTA,NEW YORK
    United States
    Member #30516
    January 17, 2006
    419 Posts
    Offline
    Posted: November 20, 2007, 1:41 pm - IP Logged

    ok .....so when can i play EURO MILLIONS  on line again ....BananaHyperParty

      Badger's avatar - adu50016 NorthAmericanBadger.jpg
      Wisconsin
      United States
      Member #1303
      March 27, 2003
      1508 Posts
      Offline
      Posted: November 21, 2007, 8:32 am - IP Logged

      AHA !  Now here is what I  see them to be really saying.

      (pre-non-gambling law) Online Gambling is evil.  It ruins people's lives.  People cannot be responsible for themselves, therefore we will make it illegal in order to protect them from themselves.

      (post-gambling law) Well Online Gambling isn't all that bad (we can tax it) so we'll start a way of making it possible (we can tax it) so that the people, who cannot manage their own conduct  (we can tax it) will be protected from making poor decisions (we can tax it)

      And hey, think of the side benefits for us (we can tax it). Milllions of dollars in revenue we didn't have before (we can tax it)

      ============

      How can you tell if a politician is lying?

      Answer: His lips are moving.

        WIN  D's avatar - q05Q0
        Stone Mountain*Georgia
        United States
        Member #828
        November 2, 2002
        10491 Posts
        Offline
        Posted: November 21, 2007, 9:06 am - IP Logged

        AHA !  Now here is what I  see them to be really saying.

        (pre-non-gambling law) Online Gambling is evil.  It ruins people's lives.  People cannot be responsible for themselves, therefore we will make it illegal in order to protect them from themselves.

        (post-gambling law) Well Online Gambling isn't all that bad (we can tax it) so we'll start a way of making it possible (we can tax it) so that the people, who cannot manage their own conduct  (we can tax it) will be protected from making poor decisions (we can tax it)

        And hey, think of the side benefits for us (we can tax it). Milllions of dollars in revenue we didn't have before (we can tax it)

         Badger...

                                                Now.........        thats funny !                     .......and           true!

         

         

        The only real failure .....is the failure to try.                               

                                      Luck is a very rare thing....... Odds not so much. 

                                      Odds never change .....but probability does. 

                                                                                               Win d    

          WIN  D's avatar - q05Q0
          Stone Mountain*Georgia
          United States
          Member #828
          November 2, 2002
          10491 Posts
          Offline
          Posted: November 21, 2007, 11:33 am - IP Logged

          http://www.world-lotteries.org/services/wto_antiguabarbuda.php

           

           

          The only real failure .....is the failure to try.                               

                                        Luck is a very rare thing....... Odds not so much. 

                                        Odds never change .....but probability does. 

                                                                                                 Win d    

            Avatar

            United States
            Member #10720
            January 23, 2005
            933 Posts
            Offline
            Posted: November 21, 2007, 8:07 pm - IP Logged

            They sure take a long time to do it, 18 months.. I support online gaming if it is legitimate. Hopefully in Second Life they will also allow playing poker. My fear though would be, what if computers were on the other end controlling what cards are drawn? These games surely are drawn from a computerized deck, am I right? Just as for many good reasons you don't like computerized drawings, why all of a sudden are we in favor of computerized poker? The only way to do it is if it's a fair game (the house only takes a small percentage of all winnings as a fee) and it can be proved that your opponent is another human somehow and not in cahoots with those running the online tournament. Not easy to prove!

              time*treat's avatar - radar

              United States
              Member #13130
              March 30, 2005
              2171 Posts
              Offline
              Posted: November 22, 2007, 9:27 am - IP Logged

              must have taken 18 months to secure their payoffs and figure out how to freeze out the smaller operators.

              E-ville, dane-gerous, immoral Bat behavior is suddenly not-so-bad Big Grin Angel... um...BS