Saturday April 5,2014 : ADELSON'S ALLY CRITICAL OF NEW JERSEY REGULATOR ON INTERNET POKER
Those FBI letter claims again, and an offer to demonstrate the "vulnerability" of online poker systems.
One of Sheldon Adelson's allies in the Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling, and a well-known anti-online gambling activist, Florida software engineer Jim Thackston presented the latest op-ed supporting federal banning of online gambling Friday, attacking online poker in the Washington DC publication The Hill.
In an op-ed piece clearly designed to influence federal lawmakers in favour of the Adelson ban, Thackston trotted out the now rather tired FBI opinions on the issue sent in answer to historical Congressional enquiries, but mainly focused on criticising the New Jersey regulators for not responding to his requests for discussions and demonstrations of the alleged vulnerability of online poker systems.
In doing so, Thackston invokes the name of an expert with whom he has collaborated in the past on internet gambling projects – Bill Byers, whom he describes as "…a Florida-based professional poker player with nearly 40 years of experience with the game."
Essentially, Thackston claims that there is technology capable of "….breaching every so-called protection claimed as effective by New Jersey (and Nevada)" when it comes to online gambling precautions against under-age and problem gamblers, geo-location restrictions and money laundering.
Apparently in January this year Byers wrote to David Rebuck, director of the New Jersey Gaming Enforcement Division, flagging the alleged weaknesses and offering to conduct a "…real-money stress test of New Jersey’s age and identity verification, geo-location, and anti-money laundering protections."
Thackston claims that Rebuck did not respond to Byers’s concerns or his offer.
Last month, Byers and another professional poker player and Poker Hall of Fame inductee, Dewey Tomko, co-wrote an op-ed which appeared in the Press of Atlantic City, specifically addressing the vulnerability of novice players to cheating by teams of colluders as well as the lack of interest on the part of New Jersey regulators.
Rebuck allegedly then responded but declined the offer of a stress test using hacker technology, although he said that his staff would be happy to receive any information about matters of concern to his office.
Thackston alleges that, despite several requests, such a meeting has not taken place, implying a lack of interest on the regulator's part.
"New Jersey regulators have failed to take seriously the legitimate concerns raised by credible experts after fewer than 6 months of legal internet gambling," Thackston concludes, adding the punch line:
"To ease the burden on gambling regulators and cure the apparent indifference of state governments, Congress should pass and the president should sign the Restoration of America's Wire Act legalization without delay."
Read the full op-ed here: