Pro-iGaming group Safe and Secure Gambling Initiative presents strong counterarguments to recently proposed bid that would ban regulated online gambling.
Earlier this week, U.S Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Representative Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) introduced a proposal that would effectively prohibit U.S. states from regulating online gambling. Originally titled the Internet Gambling Control Act, the newly renamed Restoration of America’s Wire Act – or the RAWA – would also force the closure of regulated gambling markets already established in New Jersey, Nevada and Delaware.
In response, several pro-Internet gambling advocate groups have issued statements condemning the bill and the limitations it places on personal freedoms. Most notably, well-regarded online gambling activist Safe and Secure Gambling Initiative recently distributed a release outlining its grievances with the RAWA.
SSIGI makes case strong case for Internet gambling
According to SSIGI spokesman Michael Waxman, any attempt to reverse the DOJ’s landmark 2011 decision that the Wire Act only applies to sports betting would be “ludicrous and down-right foolish.” Waxman reasons that should Internet gambling be banned, Americans will continue to wager real-money on off-shore sites. He further postulates that any government attempt to curtail unregulated activity will inevitably result in failure, as it has in the past.
Waxman calls for Congress to
follow the lead of states that have already implemented strong regulatory safeguards designed to protect consumer interests, and that by doing so, the regulated Internet marketplace will become more secure than it ever has been before.
For instance, states like New Jersey require that all gamblers who register on a state regulated site first pass through a vigorous verification process, and prove via geolocation technology that they are located within the state’s confines. Other safeguards include allowing users to set limits on the amount of time and money spent gambling.
The SSIGI argues that states should be granted the individual liberty to determine whether or not a regulated iGaming marketplace is right for them, and that by imposing bans government would limit their freedom.
Was the Restoration of America’s Wire Act bill driven by Sheldon Adelson?
There are strong indications that the recently proposed anti-iGaming measure is the manifestation of Sheldon Adelson’s efforts. The casino mogul currently acts as the primary financial backer for the Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling, and has gone on record stating that he is
willing to spend whatever it takes to prevent the legalization of online gaming.
But according to some sources, the SSIGI included, Adelson’s stance that Internet gambling poses a threat to children and would lead to widespread gambling addiction is merely a ruse. According to Waxman,
in his view, it’s the only way to protect customers. In other words, Adelson’s campaign is driven not by concern, but by the perceived threat Internet gambling would pose to his brick and mortar casino revenues.
SSIGI: Federal safeguards are necessary
The Safe and Secure Gambling Initiative sees a pressing need for federal intervention, if only to bring uniformity to the regulated gambling industry. Otherwise, the same problems that currently plague the unregulated market could once again become widespread in the U.S.
Once regulatory oversight committees are put in place, the SSIGI believes that each state should have the ability to determine its own fate, and that by allowing states to opt-in or out, it preserves their rights.
The alternative is to roll-back
an industry that has already started to flourish in the US. And that does seem kind of foolish, don’t you think?