Sunday May 10,2015 : BLATANT INACCURACIES IN STATEMENT ON INTERNET GAMBLING
National Association of Convenience Stores executive should really do his homework.
The trade association representing convenience store operators, the National Association of Convenience Stores, re-published an op-ed article by one of its executives this week, in the process exposing some glaring inaccuracies and an apparent lack of knowledge on the subject – intrastate online lottery sales and gambling.
Lyle Beckwith, the association's senior vice president of government relations, took a stand supporting the Restoration of America's Wire Act, a proposal before Congress which seeks to ban most forms of online gambling and has the potential to play havoc with online ticket sale revenues in a number of US states.
The NACS' preoccupation with online ticket sales is possibly rooted in fears by its members that this will reduce the need for the public to visit their stores for tickets and results, an outcome that has not yet been conclusively demonstrated.
In an article published in the Washington DC publication Roll Call this week, Beckwith made some startling claims, among them an assertion that today's sophisticated and efficient geo-location technology can be circumvented in "about two minutes" using a search engine.
This rather offhand dismissal of an advanced technology that has been working effectively in demanding regulated online gambling jurisdictions like Nevada, Delaware and New Jersey is used by Beckwith to argue that intrastate legalization of internet gambling is ineffective, justifying his call to politicians to support the RAWA and a general federal ban.
He went on to claim that there is virtually no such thing as intrastate gambling, because it is a simple matter for anyone, anywhere – and any age – to play state lottery games online….that shows scant regard or knowledge of the proven ID, financial and age verification measures routinely deployed by state lotteries that have embraced the additional sales opportunities presented by the Internet.
To directly quote Beckwith's surprisingly uninformed view:
“States looking to put their lotteries online, for example, want to pretend that this constitutes purely intrastate gambling activity, but they’re wrong. Unlike brick and mortar casinos and convenience stores that sell lottery tickets, the Internet is accessible any time, by anyone, from anywhere. Sure, there are technologies that can help locate a computer or a smartphone. But circumventing those technologies merely takes a search engine and about two minutes.”
This senior executive makes no attempt to substantiate or demonstrate through a personal and unbiased test that his claims hold water, making these potentially harmful allegations all the more questionable.
“State policies limiting or prohibiting gambling activities will become meaningless, as soon as people can find and play whatever games they want on the Internet,” Beckwith writes…again totally disregarding the substantial measures deployed by not only state lotteries with online operations, but all well-regulated and licensed internet gambling operators.