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Legalized Internet Gambling A “Sloppy Wet Kiss To Nevada Casinos”

Written by:
C Costigan
Published on:
Dec/06/2010
Legalized Internet Gambling

With the push to have a multi-billion dollar Internet gambling industry legalized in the US, specifically online poker, one Republican staffer described attempts by Senate Leader Harry Reid as “a sloppy wet kiss to Nevada casinos”.

Reid’s office is yet to comment on speculation in recent days that his aides have been circulating a draft bill around Congress.

That prompted three Republican Representatives to respond with a letter of opposition.

Reps. Spencer Bachus of the House Financial Services Committee, Dave Camp of the Ways & Means Committee, and Lamar Smith of the Judiciary Committee sent a letter to Reid and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. 

"We have heard reports that certain interests might be pushing to attach such a bill to a 'must pass' measure because they have calculated that a secretive, closed-door, undemocratic process represents their best opportunity to regain access to the U.S. market," they wrote.

"Creating a Federal right to gamble that has never existed in our country's history, and imposing an unprecedented new tax regime on such activity, requires careful deliberation -- not back-room deals or earmarks for special interests.”

The Vegas casinos are mostly in support of legislation.

"There are no consumer protections, no standards for licensing, no rules on operations," Alan Feldman, a spokesman for MGM Resorts International, told ABC News, noting that online gambling activity continues in the US.


Can the Vegas big boys compete with current existing online poker rooms that offer hundreds
of dollars in free cash to join like DoylesRoom.com?  That remains to be seen



Gary Thompson, spokesman for Caesars Entertainment Corp., the country's largest gaming company, also acknowledged to ABC News that the casino sector in Las Vegas was very much in favor of a change in the current law. 

PokerScout.com, a website that monitors poker play in real time, showed that during Monday night 203,315 were online at PokerStars alone.  Nearly all these players, though not necessarily playing for cash, were based out of the United States.  PokerStars is the largest online poker room in the world.  Its nearest competitor, Full Tilt Poker, had just shy of 100,000 players in their card room at around 9:30 pm EST.  Full Tilt’s customer base is almost exclusively based in the US. 

Licensing Internet poker in the United States makes perfect sense, according to Parry Aftab, an Internet privacy and security expert who once testified before Congress regarding the need for legislative reforms.

She told ABC News: "Licensing and regulating online poker is the most effective and responsible way to ensure the online safety of America's children and consumers.”

"Given the growing popularity of online poker, especially on college campuses, we cannot afford to miss this opportunity to protect America's children and consumers. We must take action now," Aftab said.

Another group thrilled about the prospect of legalized online poker in the United States, the million-member-plus Poker Players Alliance.

Its Director John Pappas commented on Monday: “If nothing else, this (push in Congress) shows that lawmakers are acknowledging what PPA has been saying all along – that Americans want to play the great game of poker in any venue they choose and they deserve to be afforded the basic consumer protections that regulation can provide.”

- Christopher Costigan, Gambling911.com Publisher

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