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Remote Gaming Association Explains Why They Support HR 6663

Written by:
C Costigan
Published on:
Aug/11/2008

HR 6663 or the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Clarification and Implementation Act of 2008 is purposed to clarify what constitutes what as legal and illegal under the UIGEA. The bill was authored by Pete Sessions (R - Texas). Late last week, the Remote Gaming Association, whose members include PartyGaming and 888.com among other European publicly traded gaming firms, offered its support of the new bill.

Gambling911.com asked: What were they thinking? Pointing out that the bill implicitly sought to go after the sports betting sector - for which European bookmakers are also itching to enter the US market - and addressing the reality that nothing more will be accomplished as it pertains to online gambling in this session of Congress.

Clive Hawkswood of the Remote Gambling Association offered a fair assessment as to why his organization has opted to support this latest measure.

Having seen yesterrday's report from Christopher Costigan, I thought it would do no harm to try and clarify our position on HR 6663. The main reason we are supportive of it is because it would go a long way towards bringing the US in to line with its commitments under GATS and, in particular, the threat of discriminatory prosecutions against EU operators. This Bill, although not perfect, would head off a numbr of possible prosecutions against some of our members. In those circumstances it would be hard for us not to welcome it.

This is after all at the heart of the EU's current investigation into the US which was prompted by our complaint. Of course we know that there will be no imminent legislative relief and, even on this side of the Atlantic, we had picked up that this is an election year in the US. However, what bills of this kind do is show that there are solutions open to the US in the longer term and that there are politicians who are able and willing to challenge the DoJ's stance.

With regard to Joe Brennan's comments, I don't know who iMEGA represent and have been unable to find a list of their members so i don't know if it's a group that we'd ever want to be associated with, but this is a battle that needs to be fought on many fronts and so I wish them well with their legal challenges. I hope he'll also be reassured that no lobbyists will be able to go into early retirement on what they recieve from us. As for the 'unnamed online gambling lobbyist' I'd be happy to give him further background on our approach to the US if he'd care to contact me, but if he'd care to take a look at our membership list I'd be surprised if he found any clowns amongst them. regards Clive Hawkswood Remote Gambling Association

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