Tuesday November 19 ,2013 : AMERICAN GAMING ASSOCIATION REITERATES POSITION ON INTERNET GAMBLING
Internet gaming demand cannot be forced back into the bottle, says AGA chief
In what is being seen by many industry insiders as an oblique riposte to the news that land casino owner Sheldon Adelson is mount a well-funded campaign against the legalization of online gambling, the American Gaming Association issued a statement Monday reiterating its support for regulated and licensed online poker.
The trade body's CEO and president, Geoff Freeman, authored the statement, which asserted:
"Time and again, government efforts to prohibit use of everyday products have failed. In 2012, Americans spent nearly $3 billion gambling with rogue offshore operators. The Internet cannot be forced back into the bottle – nor can market demand.
"We support pragmatism and strong regulation of online gaming that protects consumers, prevents underage play, ensures the integrity of the games and empowers law enforcement.
"New government efforts to prohibit online gaming will unintentionally strengthen black market providers, create more risk for American consumers, including children, and drive U.S. jobs and potential revenues overseas.
"We appreciate divergent viewpoints and welcome a healthy discussion on this complex issue."
Reports in the Washington Post over the weekend unveiled a major and multi-pronged Adelson plan to ensure that online gambling is not legalised in the United States; the plan includes big-bucks hiring of lobbyists to influence federal politicians.
Adelson is swimming upstream on the issue, with most of his rival land casino barons who are members of the AGA favouring the federal legalization of online poker, but acknowledging that there has been little progress in Congress whilst individual states forge ahead with independent regulatory schemes.