Skip to comments.LEGAL U.S. ONLINE POKER IN 18 MONTHS? (PPA chairman Al D'Amato optimistic about legalisation)
Posted on 11/15/2007 11:53:24 AM PST by SubGeniusX
Speaking at the Global Gaming Expo in Las Vegas today (Thursday) former Senator Alfonse D'Amato, chairman of the Poker Players' Alliance pressure group, said he expects the legalisation of online poker in the United States within 18 months.
Other panelists in today's State of the Industry: Internet Gambling at the Crossroads keynote session at G2E said pending sanctions by the World Trade Organisation due to current U.S. policy on Internet gambling could be the major driver for legalisation. This is because non-gaming corporations likely to be affected by the sanctions could put pressure on Congress to make a change in its current anti-online gambling approach.
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 agreed that online poker would likely be legalised before other online casino-style games.
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 financial transactions 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," Andre Wilsenach said.
In fact, 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, Terry Lanni described MGM MIRAGE's experience some years ago 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 unfeasible, Lanni said. He emphasised, 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 legalised and regulated in the United States.
Lanni underlined 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 their winnings. 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 Gary 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 legalised, 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 other burdens makes no sense.
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 commercialise 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 a major trade event for the international gaming entertainment community, attended by more than 28 000 industry professionals from around the world. It is organised by the American Gaming Association (AGA) and Reed Exhibitions.
Cool, because PokerStars is really cramping my style.
Former Senator Alfonse D’Amato?........old POTHOLE D’Amato?...........Now he’s Ace-in-the-Hole D’Amato?...........
This is going to be interesting. Let’s say a guy comes into the poker room and manages to lose $10,000 which is backed by a credit card. The next day, he complains that his 12 year-old son had used his account. He then files a complaint against the casino for allowing a minor to gamble.
How will the casino defend itself? It really doesn’t know the identity of the player.
In just hours after the House Judiciary Committee ended its hearing to determine the future course of Internet gambling media companies have already begun printing articles saying how Catherine Hanaway, an attorney for the Department of Justice and a witness at today's Hearing, has declared all Internet gambling illegal.
This, however, is in direct contrast to what we reported earlier in the day.
What actually happened at the hearing is that Ms. Hanaway contradicted herself many times. When asked if she, and the Department of Justice, considered all online gambling to be illegal, she said she believed it was. When asked if it was illegal for US citizens to gamble online, she said, no, that there are currently no federal laws that prohibit any US citizens from placing a bet online.
When prodded by a congressman on the panel about how she could consider all gambling illegal if it was legal for US citizens to play, and also how gambling could be considered illegal across the board when there are clear exceptions for horse race betting and state run lotteries, she seemed less unsure.
She was also asked why, if all Internet gambling was considered illegal by her department, there are only federal cases brought against companies who participate in the facilitation of sports betting. Again, she seemed unclear as how to respond, although she did say that BetonSports had a horse betting side of their company which they considered illegal.
Online sports betting, as pointed out several times in the hearing, is the only thing proven to be covered in the 1961 Wire Act. Hanaway simply believes that to not be true, even though a 5th Circuit court judge ruled that it did not cover any other casino games, such as poker, blackjack, or slots.
It is apparent that the media will select whatever testimony it deems appropriate to push its personal stance on this issue, as opposed to presenting the facts of the Hearing and the full testimony by all.
Stay tuned to Casino Gambling Web for further analysis of today's extensive hearing on the future of Internet gambling.
November 14, 2007
Posted By Terry Goodwin
Staff Editor, CasinoGamblingWeb.com
why? care to elaborate?
or was that just a hit and run post
I’m living in Europe for the time being. Have about 8 online poker accounts. Favorite is Titan Poker. Party’s over when I go home next year.
Not really... still plenty of ways to play ..
Partypoker, FullTilt, AbsolutePoker(trust issues there), Oddsmaker and many others ... all that is needed is an ePassporte, or a PayTru account .. among others...
Are you saying that the legalization of online poker in the US would be disgraceful?
because if you are, how does that fit in with what you say in THIS POST on another thread...
"If I work hard and achieve, I should be able to spend my money on whatever I want to..."
or do you mean, people can only spend their money on things YOU morally agree with?
*nice hit and run post...
Did you leave your account logged on?
If so it's your fault.
Did you give your 12 year old son your password?
If so it's your fault.
We know of no other way your sone could have accessed your account.
Hold on. It’s against the law for a casino to allow a minor to gamble. They are liable if a 12 year-old gambles. It is the casino’s responsibility to verify the age of the players.
That’s why you minors can’t buy alcohol on the internet. They verify age.
It's the online casino's duty to verify age when they sign up for an account, not to verify age each time they sign on to the account.
No you can't. They check your ID when you receive the product.
Fed-Ex doesn't check my ID.
Let’s see how quickly credit card companies insert a new rule regarding credit card gambling charges.
I really like the idea of a bunch of Americans playin’ poker in the underwear betting away all US taxdollars to some teenager in Holland. Great idea. Smart, too.
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