Monday November 18 ,2013 : U.S. LAWYER URGES CHINA TO GO WITH THE INTERNET FLOW
Cabot says the popularity on online gambling is growing, and China and Macau should get on board.
Speaking at a conference in Macau this week, high profile Las Vegas internet gaming lawyer Anthony Cabot encouraged China and Macau lawmakers to embrace online gambling, describing it as a popular and growing industry.
Reporting on his address, The Macau Daily Times said Cabot backed up his assertions with facts, quoting studies from Britain that show revenue from online gambling totaled US$ 2.65 billion in 2011.
And he said that last year, the Internet was responsible for 20 percent of all gambling revenue in the U.K.
China has more than 568 million Internet users, the largest user base in the world, Cabot pointed out. The figure is double the amount of U.S. internet users, who rank second. However, the percentage of China’s population with access to the Internet is only 42.3 percent, placing it at 102 in the world.
Cabot demonstrated that easier access to the internet generated growth in internet gambling, illustrating his point with statistics from countries that can claim high rates of Internet access, such as the U.K. (87 percent of the population) and Nordic countries (95 percent), where online gaming is increasing.
The Las Vegas lawyer said three courses were open to legislators when it comes to internet gambling: ignore it, fight it or embrace it.
Ignoring the phenomenon opens the way for foreign-based operators to penetrate the market and capture gamblers’ interest and money. “Right now, almost 200 gaming websites are available in Chinese languages and about 20 accept Chinese RMB and 14 accept HK dollars,” he said.
Governments can deploy a number of tactics to combat online gambling if the decision was to fight the trend, Cabot said. These included disrupting financial transactions between punters and operators through financial institution restrictions, blocking illegal operators through ISPs and restricting the ability of operators to market their offerings.
These measures had weaknesses, and the more positive way to address online gambling would be to embrace it by introducing regulations and licensing, he said, at the same time emphasising the need for laws governing regulated operators to be such that the operators could remain competitive in the free market.