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Lessig Issues Warning to Online Casino Industry

Stanford law professor Lawrence Lessig is the latest academic to add his voice to those warning the online casino industry against complacency. Government regulation is coming to the internet, Lessig says, and the $12 billion online casino industry shouldn’t bet on continuing as it is into the future. Lessig has predicted that governments will increase their attempts to control the online world, and the online casino industry shouldn’t rest on its laurels.

Lessig, who is the founder of Stanford University’s Centre for Internet and Society, made his comments at an online casino event last week in Montreal. 1600 delegates gathered to hear Lessig’s speech, in which he said that today regulating the online casino industry is almost impossible. However, he warned attendees that it would be a mistake to overestimate the industry’s capacity to escape the U.S. government’s ability to regulate against it in the future. The U.S. government is already examining a gambling prohibition law aimed at cutting off Americans from all forms of online casino gambling.

Lessig has admitted that the legislation would be difficult to enforce in the current climate, where sites based in other countries make online casino gambling accessible beyond the reach of a nation’s own laws. Yet most of the big players in technology, including Microsoft, are already working on a mechanism that would add an identity requirement to the web. Lessig has predicted that within five years, cyberspace will be divided by virtual borders and online casino players will be subject to national laws.

OCA News Editor

Jenny McKinnley is OCA’s financial correspondent. After spending years on the trading floor in both NY and London, she offers insight from the inside out on world financial news and events.

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