AGA Calls Online Gambling Film a "Cautionary Tale"

Published Friday, October 04, 2013 -
AGA Calls Online Gambling Film a "Cautionary Tale"

Online gambling in America runs the gamut when it comes to opinions on its value. Some are very much against the newest form of wagering while others promote it as a good job creating industry that if regulated can bring benefits to the general population.

The American internet gambling situation has changed dramatically since it was effectively banned in 2006. The industry is now firmly rooted in Nevada, Delaware and soon in New Jersey where legal online gambling will debut in November of 2013.

The Hollywood portrayal of the internet wagering world has stirred and shaken the industry with many punters who have watched this thriller wondering how close to reality the characters in the film are based.

The 20th Century Fox, film Runner Runner, is the story of a Princeton University graduate student, portrayed by Justin Timberlake, who thinks he's been cheated after gambling away his tuition money. The Timberlake character travels to Costa Rica to confront an online poker tycoon, played by Ben Affleck, who then offers him a job.

The controversy surrounding the release of the film is substantial and was made even more so when the American Gambling Association bought advertisement slots on major websites, including Twitter, Facebook and the IMDb movie database, touting the film as a "cautionary tale".

A national not for profit organization, the Stop Predatory Gambling Foundation, sent a letter to the casino lobby recently calling the ads dishonest. The group is demanding that the ads and one of which warns, "Sometimes movie villains are real" should be taken off the internet. National director of the organization Les Bernal said, "Casino operators now hope to expand another key demographic to their base: young people, especially those of college age, which is why the AGA greedily seized upon Runner, Runner,"

The writers of Runner Runner David Levien and Brian Koppelman, commented that they were amused and somewhat surprised at the AGA ad campaign.

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