Written On 5/12/11 By Recentpoker.com staff writer Lenny Wasman :
atch out for more lobbying as gambling chiefs put their own legalization measures together
Following his very positive op-ed article on internet gambling legalization in The Hill recently the chief executive of the American Gaming Association, Frank Fahrenkopf, joined other land gambling chiefs in a press conference in Washington DC Tuesday.
He joined Keith Smith, president of Boyd Gaming; Gordon Kanofsky, CEO of Ameristar Casinos; and Virginia McDowell, president of Isle of Capri Casinos in calling for online gambling legalization, noting that the wherewithal to meet all precautionary requirements was now available and that there was a significant demand among American punters for online gambling, with federal government legalization was the only realistic course to follow.
Coming on the heels of the federal government's continued crackdown on foreign sites offering internet services, the move will inevitably be interpreted in some circles as protectionist.
The quartet told reporters that a series of meetings have been planned in the near future with senior political figures to discuss a wide range of subjects pertinent to online gambling, with AGA members and lobbyists engaging with politicians in the House and Senate and even the White House.
In their armoury will be a new report to which Fahrenkopf referred in his article in the political newspaper The Hill over the weekend. This is apparently critical of of current US policy on internet gambling, and points to legalising moves in 85 nations, mainly in Europe. Fahrenkopf said the report showed that Americans spent at least $4 billion dollars a year on internet gambling even in the present restrictive climate, and the potential for tax revenue generation was considerable.
The AGA executive also revealed that the land gaming industry is busy drafting its own bill for the legalization of online poker. This will apparently allow for independent state regulation with federal oversight.
It also appears that Nevada senator Harry Reid is gearing up for another attempt at online poker legalization; he will reportedly hold a lunch this week where top Democrat politicians will interact with land gaming executives.