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UK Lawmaker criticizes online casino ban

Speaking on the issue of Internet gambling, the United Kingdom’s Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell said regulating online casino sites would work better than an online casino law that would ban them, or attempt to do so. Unlike the American approach, in the UK the government would award online casinos that practice the best operations. The requirements would be for operators not to target children and keep customers informed about how much money they have spent.

The UK online casino law would also investigate managing directors, finance managers and other key staff at online casino companies for links to organized crime. This last issue is a reference to the Prohibition Act of 1919 in the United States. Then, the goal was to stop the damages brought to society by alcohol consumption. The result was driving the industry to the hands of bootleggers and organized crime.

Jowell said on this issue, comparing the online casino law to the historical example, that “America should have learnt the lessons of prohibition. If it goes wrong, there is a real danger is that off shore sites based in poorly regulated countries will become the modern day equivalent of speakeasies, increasing the risk of exploitation and fraud.” Jowell will be hosting a summit on online casino sites next week, with politicians from 30 countries discussing how to achieve international regulations.

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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