AGA CEO Supports US Regulation

AGA CEO supports legislation for internet casinos in the US
AGA CEO Supports for online gambling regulation in the US

AGA (American Gaming Association) supports the U.S Department of Justice’s (DoJ) law enforcement.

Frank Fahrenkopf, CEO of the American Gaming Association (AGA), said in an op-ed article released this week came out in strong support for regulation of internet gambling in the U.S: “Americans like to wager online. Millions of Americans bet billions of dollars per annum at foreign-based sites.”

“A number of these operators are flouting US law. They are operated by unscrupulous individuals who, according to the Justice Department, engaged in various criminal activities such as bank fraud and money-laundering.”

He also stressed: “The American Gaming Association supports strong law enforcement oversight and also congratulated the Justice Department for coming down hard on those operators that disregarded the laws of the United States.”

“It was the proper course of action by the federal government to persecute the individuals who operate the three major internet poker sites. One thing we’ve learned since the inception of the UIGEA (2006) is that law enforcement can’t always safeguard the interests of millions of American players that continue to wager at foreign based internet gaming sites.”

He article also pointed out: “Irrespective of these indictments, players will continue to find alternative ways (loopholes) to gamble online. It’s a given fact, in the wake of the aftermath of internet poker’s “Black Friday,” many internet casinos continue to operate in the U.S., regardless of the law, in fact they’re proliferating. There are more than 1,000 real-money websites operated by approximately 300 foreign-based internet casinos that still target the U.S. market. This clearly indicates that foreign operators will continue to accept US-based players and find loopholes within our current system.”

“Moreover, internet gambling sites filling this gap are not regulated and trustworthy, the net result is that American players will get hurt in the process.”

“This is one of the main reasons why we need to establish a safe and regulated internet gambling environment.”

“All that Congress needs to do is to make a couple of amendments to its present legislation, in the process it could create thousands of new jobs and raise approximately $20 billion in new tax revenues within the next 10 years. Revise the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 (UIGEA) and also warrant that foreign internet casinos don’t disregard U.S. law.”

Pertaining to the Association’s (AGA) own position, he reiterated that “the AGA strongly supports the licensing and regulation of internet poker in the U.S since we know that U.S.-licensed gaming companies, abide and follow rigorous gaming regulations, in turn this creates safe, honest and responsible sites that could be accessed by players who want to play internet poker. The latter will protect Americans from deceitful internet casinos and create much needed employment and revenues associated with this billion-dollar industry would end up in U.S coffers.”

“The infrastructure alone to support this industry will produce an estimated 10,000 high-tech jobs; jobs that our country desperately needs right now. The moment a properly structured system which is fully functional, legal and regulated internet poker will generate $2 billion in tax revenue per annum. Revenue would be ploughed right back into American communities, it would financially benefit schools, road repairs, decent medical facilities and medical care. This cash would help Americans everywhere.”

“Regulated internet gambling in horse racing and lottery sectors in tandem with legalized internet gambling for many years have proved in Western Europe and Canada, that the technology now exists to protect minors and players as well and to ensure the honesty of the games. It’s a given fact that 85 countries from all over the globe want to legalize internet gambling.”

“It’s now up to the federal government to impose the necessary regulations that would compel U.S states to enforce a strict regulatory structure to properly license and regulate internet poker. The industry has the necessary tools that permit those players with gambling problems to limit their gambling, or to bar themselves completely from participating in internet gambling. Age-verification technology can stop under age gamblers from gambling online by means of IP tracking technology; bets could be excluded from states and jurisdictions where internet gambling is prohibited. Money laundering could also be prevented by careful screening and the auditing of online transactions,” he added.

In conclusion, Fahrenkopf proposed: “In a nutshell we could do the following.”

“To issue legislation that removes the existing ambiguity of UIGEA and delineates the proper regulatory framework that preserves states’ rights to determine which gambling options are best suited for its citizens, Congress can do away with contradictory and legal practices.”

“The licensing and regulation of internet gambling in conjunction with law enforcement – is the only way to secure the jobs, the public revenues it yields, to monitor social risks and end the cycle of dishonest activity in the U.S. once and for all.”



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