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A Censorship Threat to Online Casinos Raises Concerns

This past week the Internet Service Provider Adelphia blocked all online casinos and gambling related websites from their Southeastern US based subscribers. Industry experts believe this is an early warning sign that online casinos are under major threats due to legality and censorship concerns.

Mark Lesnick, an online casinos businessman and expert said, “I read yesterday that on March 1, between 6 to 9:30 AM Eastern Time Adelphia (an ISP provider) had blocked ALL websites with Gambling related content… This included Neteller, gaming sites, gaming affiliate sites; ANT site with gambling content. Sites like MSN, Yahoo, Retail websites, and other sites without gambling content were not blocked.”

Adlephia was contacted about their temporary lock down of access to online casinos and the company, now under the auspices of Time Warner, said they were experiencing technical difficulties during those hours which would soon be fixed.

Since most online casinos are based outside of the United States to avoid American gambling regulations and laws, maybe Adelphia did just have a router issue?

Nevertheless, Lesnick believes this is not the case. “The individual who experienced this problem was unable to access an (online gambling) affiliate web site which is hosted in several different locations throughout the US,” he said. “This was not just isolated to companies located outside the country,” he added. Lesnick himself operates and manages online casinos and gambling conferences, and believes this Adelphia incident is not just an isolated case.
Lesnick continued, “It is plausible to believe that the US Justice Department is placing the same pressure now on Internet Service Providers (ISP) as they did 2 years ago on the Media companies and the Online Advertising Firms (like Google and Yahoo).”
Have online casinos met a new match of regulation? Will other Internet Service Providers follow Adelphia’s lead?
Whatever the result, this will certainly open up a new set of conspiracy theories, ideas, and debates regarding the legality of online casinos, and the censorship of material on the Internet. The issue is larger than just that of monitoring and regulating online casinos because it extends beyond online gambling and into the sphere of censorship as a whole – restricting access to certain sites by paying customers.
While most censorship debates and cases on the Internet have revolved around pornographic sites in the past, online casinos are clearly now in the fray.
A Virginia state law in 2000 would have outlawed materials on the Internet that are “harmful to juveniles,” such as certain writing and images. But the Constitution protects writings and images, and nothing about online casinos was explicitly passed into law.




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