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Politicians Continue To Face Off Regarding Online Casinos

Online casinos in general are emerging at an alarming pace worldwide. Online casinos are popular in Europe, the United States, and parts of Asia. Ireland has been hit with the online casinos bug too, and the $12 billion dollar a year online casinos industry sees many players coming from the UK and Ireland. Some online casinos tempt players with bonuses while other online casinos choose promotions or large tournaments, but it is clear regardless, that online casinos are very popular and on the rise.

Online casinos face great competition and also regulation and some legal battles. Online casinos legislation is currently being debated in the House of Representatives in the United States Congress, and online casinos legislation has also been heard in front of the World Trade Organization (WTO). Antigua and Barbados took the United States to court (to the WTO) regarding the legality of online casinos and the island’s popularity for online casinos setting up shop. The matter is still unresolved and in negotiation. Online casinos have also been the subject of debate in other countries. Italy banned search engines from including these internet gaming sites in their searches and now the government is being sued by a conglomerate of British gaming sites.
Recently, politicians in the United States continued facing off over online casinos.

Interesting perspectives on US political moves to ban online gambling were reported recently in the New York Times, which claims that several interest groups are lining up to lobby for or against Web gambling.

The article reports that an array of interest groups like casinos in the USA and abroad, as well as sports leagues, antigambling coalitions and even poker players, has dispatched lobbyists to argue what should be legal and what should not over a wide range of Internet transmitted gambling entertainment from horse racing to lotteries, and poker to fantasy sports.

Major League Baseball wants to make sure that any measures do not diminish Internet based fantasy sports games, which it credits for a resurgence in its popularity.

The big Las Vegas casinos, which have been neutral over online betting, have embraced a proposal in the House to establish a study commission. Convenience stores are watching to see whether Internet sales of lottery tickets might be affected, though Powerball seems to be safe for now.

The horse racing industry seems confident, but dog tracks are worried. And offshore casinos are fighting any restrictions.

The article embraces the current moves to hamstring online gambling in the House of Representatives, referring to the merge of the Goodlatte (HR 4777) and Leach (HR4411) Bills that have already been the subject of wide discussion. The majority leader, Republican Representative John A. Boehner of Ohio, announced a few days ago that the measure would be voted on this summer as part of what the Republicans call their American Values Agenda (see previous InfoPowa bulletins).

Nevertheless, the power of the gambling industry remains worldwide as billions of dollars are generated.



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