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For Immediate Release
Contact: Michael Waxman
AGA President, Nevada Governor and Other Supporters Push for Federal Regulation to Protect Consumers, Create Jobs and Stimulate Economy
(Washington, D.C. – May 24, 2011) In the wake of last month’s federal indictment and move to shut down three major online poker operators, public pressure for the federal regulation of Internet gambling has reached an all-time high. The American Gaming Association, which represents the bricks-and-mortar casino industry, and Nevada’s Governor Brian Sandoval have joined the ranks of millions of frustrated Americans who have been impacted by the federal crackdown by asking for federal legislative action.
“I would be shocked if the confluence of media attention and public appeals to regulate Internet gambling doesn’t serve as a sufficient catalyst and motivator for Congress to move on this issue,” said Michael Waxman, spokesperson for the Safe and Secure Internet Gambling Initiative. “As the federal indictments have illustrated, the freedom of the Internet has allowed millions of Americans to find a way to gamble online. With more than a thousand operators targeting the U.S. market, government attempts to shut them down one at a time is futile. The commonsense solution is for Congress to heed the increasing calls for legislation to control the activity and capture the significant economic benefits.”
Frank J. Fahrenkopf Jr., president and CEO of the American Gaming Association, recently argued for federal regulation in an opinion piece published in The Hill.
“The AGA supports the licensing and regulation of online poker in the United States because we know U.S.-licensed gaming companies, following proven and rigorous gaming regulations, will provide safe, honest and responsible sites for the use of the men and women who want to play online poker,” stated Fahrenkopf. “It will also protect Americans from unscrupulous operators and bring the jobs and revenues associated with this billion-dollar industry back to the U.S.”
In Nevada, where last week the state Assembly unanimously approved a bill to regulate intra-state online poker activity, Governor Sandoval indicated he is in favor of Congress approving online poker legislation rather than the state going forward alone. The approved bill calls on Nevada regulators to draft rules which would only take effect once Congress legalizes online gambling.
“I do believe that online gaming is the (wave) of the future,” said Sandoval in a recent interview. “If, indeed, the federal government legalizes online poker, the state of Nevada should be the one that sets up regulatory structure and the investigatory structure for those who seek licensing in that area.”
Pending federal legislation to regulate Internet gambling – the Internet Gambling Regulation, Consumer Protection, and Enforcement Act (H.R. 1174) – was introduced earlier this yearby Representative John Campbell (R-CA). The bill, which includes language identical to what was overwhelmingly approved last year by the House Committee on Financial Services, would implement practical and enforceable standards to control Internet gambling activity and protect consumers.
H2 Gambling Capital, the leading supplier of data and market intelligence regarding the global gambling industry, projected in a report released last year that regulating all forms of Internet gambling except sports wagering in the U.S. would generate a gross expenditure of $67 billion over five years and 25,470 new jobs. Currently, the U.S. economy does not benefit in any way from this thriving marketplace, which is based almost entirely offshore (there is a federal exemption for wagers on horse racing and lotteries).
About Safe and Secure Internet Gambling Initiative
The Safe and Secure Internet Gambling Initiative promotes the freedom of individuals to gamble online with the proper safeguards to protect consumers and ensure the integrity of financial transactions. For more information on the Initiative, please visit www.safeandsecureig.org. The Web site provides a means by which individuals can register support for regulated Internet gambling with their elected representatives.