AGA Stresses Importance of Federal Online Gambling Regulation

Posted By: Date: 01/14/2013 at 12:00 am Leave a comment

The American Gaming Association (AGA), based in Washington DC, was established in 1995 to study the gaming industry and educate everyone from elected officials, media circuits to the general public to the ins and outs of the gaming entertainment industry. The organization’s latest efforts have driven towards warning the American people, and the Congress that serves them, why federal regulatory guidelines for online gambling need to be set forth before states begin accepting internet wagers.

According to the AGA, federal guidelines are an absolute necessity in today’s market. When the Department of Justice altered its view on the implications of the Wire Act of 1961, ruling that law only relates to sports betting wagers placed online wagers across state borders, it released an enormous can of energetic worms throughout the US.  States like Nevada and Delaware have been moving forward with the restrictions of intrastate online gambling, but others, like California and New Jersey, continuously rejected the idea of online gambling when it was believed they would never be able to transition to an interstate market. Now that the possibility of gambling across state lines over the internet is much more likely, they have become all too eager to push online poker and/or online gambling laws into effect.

The AGA has produced numerous studies that relate to the vast profit potential within taxation of regulated online gaming, fully supporting the idea of legalization across states that wish to offer it, but when the efforts to pass federal regulatory guidelines took a plunge off the “fiscal cliff”? last month, the American Gaming Association took up their proverbial picketing signs and began making noise.

A new video has been released by the AGA warning of theoretically disastrous results. The AGA believes that once states begin to offer online gambling via their own individual legislative concepts – a “patchwork of regulations” they called it – it will be too hard to integrate federal regulation into each state. Without federal regulatory guidelines, the government could not promise the same level of protection to all participating Americans, putting “gaming patrons, problem gamblers and minors”? at risk.  The video explains that federal regulation would have a number of necessary benefits for US players; “preserve the states’ right to opt in, ensure integrity of the game, prevent underage gambling and promote responsible gaming”, while also putting a stop to “illegal gambling” from unregulated sources. 

The solution, according to the AGA, is simple; passage of the draft legislation proposed by Senator Harry Reid (Nevada) and Senator John Kyl (Arizona). The AGA is one of bill’s strongest proponents, believing its enactment is indispensable.  The bill would provide for a minimum standard to protect consumers, provide help for problem gamblers, promote a responsible gaming environment and prevent underage participation. The regulatory structure would ensure that Native American casinos would have the same opportunities to present online gaming operations. It even provides federal law for enforcement agencies, giving them the necessary resources to target and prosecute online gambling operators who attempt to access the US market illegally.

One of the AGA’s largest concerns is leaving online gambling regulations in the hands of states that have no past experience in the gaming industry. Thus far, only states with an established gaming sector, such as Nevada, Delaware, California, New Jersey and Iowa, have shown any real interest in the provision of an online gambling sector. Each of these states has a strong land-based gaming market to begin with, thus the regulatory council is adept at acclimating to internet wagering laws.

Federal guidelines would take the legislative crafting out of state hands, delivering a nationwide set of regulatory standards. Most importantly, all states would have the right to choose whether or not they want to supply an online gaming venue within their borders, and whether that venue would include online poker and/or online casino gambling.

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