Written On 4/27/11 By Recentpoker.com staff writer Lenny Wasman :
Putting those US indictments in perspective….
The widely reported indictments of popular online poker sites PokerStars and FullTilt, accused of fraud and money laundering, have put in question the feasibility of iGaming legalization initiatives, undertaken both at federal and the state level in the United States.
With the damage done to the reputation of online poker, many believe that fewer politicians will now be willing to back any of the bills that legalize internet poker, opines Clarion Gaming.
Lloyd L. Levine, former Assemblymember of the California Legislature and an advocate of internet poker legalization in California, says that the repeated failure to pass legalization in individual states shows that lawmakers are proving to be gun-shy when it comes to legalising intrastate poker.
"Additionally, the current gridlock in Congress will probably thwart any attempts to provide a federal solution, or even clarity," he notes.
A LinkedIn poll launched by Clarion Gaming, which is organising the 11th Global iGaming Summit & Expo (GiGSE) in San Francisco on 17 to 19 May 2011, investigated the legal and commercial future of iGaming in the US, and confirmed that the short-term effect of the indictments will be negative.
The same poll, however, suggests that there is a general belief in the industry that the DoJ action will lead to the legalization of internet gaming in the USA in the long term.
Betfair is one of the operators that have never taken US bets and have welcomed the DoJ action: “These events provide validation of the long-term, legally-conservative strategy of those global operators that have elected to closely adhere to U.S. laws. Those companies pursuing short-term gain are now out of the game”, claims Laurie Itkin, VP, Public Affairs, Betfair US/TVG.
The DoJ enforcement has also been applauded by Jan Jones-Blackhurst of Caesars, one of the strongest supporters of iGaming regulation: “Caesar's Entertainment supports strong enforcement against illegal online gambling activity in this country,” she says. “But illegal activity – and the risk of consumer fraud, money laundering and underage gambling – will continue until the U.S. passes laws ensuring that only licensed, taxed and highly regulated companies can operate in the US market.”
Laurie Itkin of Betfair and Jan Jones-Blackhurst of Ceasars will join a former employee of the Department of Justice, Kevin DiGregory, and California lawyer Martin Owens Jr., to discuss the further implications of the online poker indictments during the 11th Global iGaming Summit & Expo.
Further details at www.gigse.com