Sunday April 21, 2013 : NEW YORK SENATOR WORRIED ABOUT INTERNET GAMBLING
With Delaware and New Jersey now working toward intrastate online gambling, New York state should be concerned.
New York State Senator Tim Kennedy, a Democrat from Buffalo, is concerned about the possible effect of legalised online gambling in neightbouring states like Delaware and New Jersey, according to a statement he issued Friday.
Kennedy writes that the legalization of online gaming in individual states across the United States could lead to increased illegal and predatory gambling activity in New York State.
"New Jersey, Nevada and Delaware's recent legalization of online gaming is raising red flags for states across the country that want to ensure the industry is regulated to protect consumers,” Kennedy writes, calling on the New York State Gaming Commission to investigate illegal online gambling and protect New Yorkers.
Kennedy acknowledges that New York State is currently unable regulate the companies that are licensed in New Jersey, yet he fears these sites will have easy access to New York customers through illegal middle-men who can set up "virtual private networks" to host "online casinos" in New York State.
The New York senator apparently has a low opinion of online gambling operators, writing: "These sites are stacking the deck and consumers are losing – and losing big. We need to prevent these bad actors from getting a license to behave this way anywhere in the country."
"Enforcing regulations against illegal online gambling was typically the role of the FBI, but in 2011 the U.S. Department of Justice reversed its long-held opposition to many forms of internet gambling, leaving the decision and much of the regulatory power up to the states," Kennedy observes.
"Now that states are legalizing or looking to legalize online gaming across the country, New York will have to come up with ways to protect consumers from the many bad actors out there.
"The New York State Gaming Commission should investigate the proliferation of illegal or predatory sites as NY online gambling becomes legal in neighboring states.
“Every dollar spent on gambling online illegally is lost revenue for [land] casinos in Buffalo and Niagara Falls, which employ thousands of Western New Yorkers."
The senator from Buffalo references online poker's Black Friday and the federal indictment and criminal allegations that flowed from that event in his statement, presumably wishing to underline his characterisation of operators as less than desirable businesses for his state.
He goes on to point out: "Another large player in the online gaming industry is 888.com, which has been operating from off-shore locations for years, has a history of taking illegal bets and offering no protection for minors and other individuals who would be harmed by online gambling. Some of these sites could be pushing for licensing in states like New Jersey, who are now offering legalized online gaming."