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Global Unions Urge For Responsible Gaming at Online Casinos

Online casinos have proliferated in the past few years at an electrifying pace and to an extent where the internet gambling industry is now over a $12 billion dollar a year venture. But the UN Gaming Global Union is keeping a keen eye on online casinos and the developments within the online casinos industry and has called for responsible gaming across the world.

The UN Union also opposes the growth of unregulated online casinos that lower the threshold for gambling. Silvina Martinez of ALEARA Argentina chaired the meeting in Nyon, Switzerland and called for a dialogue to be built with the top executives and leaders of online casinos in the industry.

Union leaders are concerned with the online casinos industry and want to make sure that online casinos are not places where criminals can money launder and well as places where teens became addicted as under age gamblers illegally.

Discussing online casinos, Martinez said, "Unions are major players in the industry and we have to ensure that the sector is responsible and complies with the law. We need to protect against money laundering, we need to ensure tables are monitored to ensure that illegal activities cannot take place."

Martinez’s union is working in Argentina with projects to help compulsive gamblers and is urging lawmakers there to force gaming halls to put up warnings about addiction. She said, “We need to be at the forefront of the fight against compulsive gambling - we need to support projects for gamblers and the family. We have to make sure that treatment is available.”

Martinez wants more training for gaming staff who are going to encounter players with the addiction. But it is often hard to monitor addiction at online casinos because of the secrecy and privacy of the business. According to the union, there are thousands of internet gambling portals worldwide and turnover is expected to reach $10 billion by 2010. Bernhard Stracke of Germany urged the union to reject online casinos because of their bad social effects. Online casinos are banned in many countries, including the United States, Switzerland, and Australia.

The resolution highlights the dangers of becoming addicted to online casinos and under age betting from home, and the 24 hour a day, 7 day a week access that online casinos afford. Some credit card companies already refuse to deal with online casinos because of payment problems.

"You can ruin your family simply sitting at home and playing on the Internet," said Germano Medici, of FISASCAT CISL Italy. "It's a problem for the industry but we have to involve governments as well."

Jean Claude Fagnant of SETCa in Belgium added, “We need to have regulation of all forms of gaming, not just on casinos.” Many of the speakers at the union meetings warned of problems caused by unregulated slot machines. These slot machines are often installed at bars or restaurants.

Still, the debate will go on about regulating the internet gambling industry.


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