Online Gambling Hot Potatoes

The gaming industry is signaling the appointment of casino-friendly Democrats to key power posts in Washington, but experts warn it could be years before Congress is willing to consider regulating online gambling.

“If the issue resurfaces, they will say, ‘We have dealt with it already,'” said David Stewart, a lawyer in Washington who advises the American Game Association. “They are tired of this latest effort.”

The National Gaming Association (NGA) has not opposed or supported the illegal Internet gambling funding law, which is a bill that further criminalizes Internet gambling. The association’s two largest members, Harrer Entertainment and MGM Mirage, want to legalize Internet gambling in the United States, but other members have been lukewarm about the idea. The association expects a board meeting next month to decide whether to pursue legislation that will study legalizing Internet gambling. Representative John Porter, R-Nev., introduced the bill, which gained support from more than 40 co-sponsors during the last session of Congress.

Among the many Democrats perceived to be industry-friendly are Jim Leach, an outspoken liberal and chairman who will chair the Financial Services Commission, and Barney Frank, D-N.Y., who voted against an internet gambling ban introduced by a committee under R-Iowa.

Even if more liberals dominate the online gambling debate, Stewart says it may take at least a decade for Congress to legalize internet betting. Internet betting is a $12 billion industry that has established itself as a black position in mainstream culture.

“They have no appetite for it,” he said of the members’ desire to pursue a debate.

Internet gambling, backed by several religious conservatives in Congress and companies allegedly operating illegally, has been a major issue with complex ripple effects and little to gain politically from supporters.

Online poker players have sent hundreds of emails and letters to members of Congress opposing the ban, but they are no match for Republican conservatives and their allies. Stewart said the number of online gamblers is on the rise, but there is no political clout yet to influence the legislation.

Internet gambling expert I. Nelson Rose said that instead of legalizing online betting nationwide, a bill that would allow states to participate in a regulatory system that would allow in-state residents to place internet bets could pass Congress. A similar system would allow gamblers to bet on horse racing in remote locations in their home states as well as other states that choose to participate.

As long as it falls short, states will try to regulate internet betting within their borders.

“I think states will make it a state right issue,” said Professor Rose of Whittier Law School in California.
An effort is underway in his home state, which is working on legislation to legalize Internet poker betting for Californians.

In 2003, Nevada’s Legislature passed a bill that would allow regulators to study whether internet gambling could be regulated. The state’s Game Management Board heard testimony from technology companies that have software that claims to accurately identify gamblers using satellites, online background checks, and account information.
However, regulators did not pursue the issue after receiving a letter from the Justice Department reiterating the Fed’s position on internet gambling.

Nevada regulators considered an appeal to legalize online gambling for Nevada residents, but did not pursue the issue, saying the legislature was meant to consider the more lucrative prospect of taxing internet gambling income beyond Nevada’s borders.

Nevada casinos don’t want to commit a Federal Reserve violation, but some local businesses could pursue the right of Nevadans to bet online in the coming years, Rose said.

Nevadans can already sign up for casinos and place sports bets on their home computers after sending their betting information over a secure line. 카지노사이트 순위

“If at-home sports betting is legal, internet gambling should be legal for Nevadans,” he said.

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