Tuesday May 3,2016 : ATTORNEY GENERALS DISCUSS INTERNET GAMBLING
Deadwood AG's summit hears differing views on internet gambling.
A slew of US state Attorney Generals from 13 states and Washington DC will continue their deliberations on a number of issues today (Tuesday) at the 2016 Presidential Initiative Summit, which this year is being hosted in Deadwood by South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley, who is also president of the National Association of Attorneys General.
On Monday the summit discussed gambling issues that once again included internet gambling, providing Las Vegas Sands Corporation exec and Sheldon Adelson lieutenant Andy Abboud with another opportunity to accuse internet gambling of everything from endangering the youth of America to causing job losses and imperilling US consumers.
Abboud's now somewhat time-worn material has been associated with the misinformation pumped out by other frontmen and women of Adelson's Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling, and he had little new to offer, professing to be more concerned about public policy than commercial competition. He even claimed that online game operators could be using technology to swindle their players.
Another speaker, Whit Askew who is VP government affairs for the American Gaming Association, told delegates that licensed casinos make up a $240 billion industry in the United States, and support 1.7 million U.S. jobs. He estimated the illegal market – mainly in sports betting – to be currently worth up to $500 billion a year.
Askew said proceeds from some online sports betting were linked to organised crime, and revealed that $14 billion was wagered during March Madness and the Super Bowl this year, 97 percent of which was illegal.
"The lion's share of illegal gambling comes through sports betting," he said, noting that most sports bettors want to see a change in the currently restrictive federal wagering laws, and would like to see the individual states make their own decisions on the regulation of sportsbetting.
This appears to be on the current wish list of the AGA, judging from similar comments made by the trade body's CEO, Geoff Freeman elsewhere recently.
Jackley, as president of the National Association of Attorneys General, said that he did not expect his colleagues to reach a consensus on sports betting at the summit.
Mike Rodman, executive director of the Deadwood Gaming Association, brought up the daily fantasy sports phenomenon, commenting that regulation should be left in the hands of the states, and that regulation and licensing could generate revenues for the state.
"State gaming laws need to be in front of technology, not playing catch up," Rodman said.