Regulation of Online Gambling a Long Shot

Published Thursday, April 30, 2009 -

Online gambling law experts have given their opinions at numerous times concerning the possible turn around in the USA prohibition of online gambling. The latest advice and warning issued by the learned members of the bar seems to be that regulated online gaming may be a long shot in the States.

Pat O'Brien, an internet gambling law expert with the firm Greenberg Traurig suggested that state-by-state regulation is considered a more likely scenario. Mr. O'Brien told the International Masters of Gaming Law (IMGL) Spring Conference in conjunction with the Canadian Gaming Summit in Windsor, Ontario, that moves to regulate online lotteries and poker games within state borders remain more viable proposals, with established operators in those states' land-based gaming sectors also likely to be permitted to move online ahead of offshore competitors.

Mark Clayton, a Las Vegas-based attorney with Lionel, Sawyer&Collins, offered his opinion saying a federal move to regulate internet gambling would have to overcome the ever-thorny issue of states' rights.

O'Brien said, "It all comes down to money... when legislators' need for money surpasses any morality issues, then they legalize," adding, that he thought the charge online would begin first with internet lottery sales, followed by "more imaginative lottery products," and then on to bingo, poker and possibly also casino-style gaming.

O'Brien told Canadian Gaming Summit delegates, "What already exists offline is what will be allowed to exist online,"

British Columbia Lottery Corporation's director of legal services Constance Ladell, commenting on slumping internet lottery sales said, "Our biggest challenge comes from south of the border and the UIGEA," "We've got caught up in that and have suffered as a result of the UIGEA as well as the risk-averse nature of the payments industry."

Ladell also said about the government's failure to address online gaming via regulation, "Ignoring the internet is like holding on to the notion that the world is flat," Most of the delegates at the dual country summit seem to agree that there is no political will to regulate and therefore it will not happen any time soon.

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