Sunday July 11,2015 : A.G.A. EXPLAINS CHANGE OF POSTURE ON LEGALISED ONLINE POKER
CEO Geoff Freeman says lack of consensus among members changed the focus of trade body.
Geoff Freeman, the CEO of the American Gaming Association, a trade body for US gambling companies, was interviewed on the always interesting Ralston Live television show in Nevada last week, among other things explaining that a lack of consensus on federally legalised online poker was what changed the trade body's position from for to against.
Freeman, relatively new to the job at that time, started his tenure of office well, promoting the concept of federally legalised online poker. The rather sudden volte face that occurred later was, he said, caused by a lack of consensus among AGA members on the subject.
Given that at that time virulently anti-online gambling Sheldon Adelson was the only one openly opposed to the concept, the reversal perhaps illustrates just how powerful the brick and mortar casino mogul is within the AGA.
In the interview, Freeman spoke about the danger of inviting federal interference in state affairs and urged caution and suspicion on measures like the Restoration of America's Wire Act, which seeks to ban online gambling, explaining that such measures can have unintended consequences for brick and mortar casinos, which are clearly his first priority.
In general he appeared to take a neutral line on the controversial subject, suggesting that ill-informed or poorly written federal legalization could impact the brick and mortar industry.
“What we’re doing is making sure there is nothing that is considered here that could have unintended consequences for brick and mortar casinos," he commented.
“And there are some things that could. If federal legalization is written poorly, as it often is, there could be bans on not just online poker, but on progressive slot machines at land-based casinos."
See the interview here – the online gambling discussion is about 15:30 minutes in: http://watch.knpb.org/video/