Strong Support in America for Legalisation of Online Gambling
A large push is underway in the United States to legalize online gambling. A number of high profile organizations are coming out in favour of legislation and progress has been made in Congress.
Last week the American Gaming Association (AGA) held a hearing regarding the problems around protecting online poker players and released a statement strongly supporting online poker legalisation. The hearing was chaired by Representative Mary Bono Mack and a number of high profile members of the gaming industry gave statements.
Frank J. Fahrenkopf, the president and CEO of the AGA argued that poker is very different from other forms of gambling for a number of reasons. Poker is a game that has strong historical roots in America and also it is primarily a game of skill. A further important distinction is that poker is played against individuals rather than against the house. The AGA also pointed out that legalising online poker will generate a number of jobs and bring in large amounts in revenue.
Another organisation that has come out in support of legalisation is Big gaming. Last week it was announced that MGM Resorts International, Boyd Gaming Corp and Bwin.party are joining together to enter the online poker industry should it become legal in the US. This partnership is a clear sign that many land based casinos are now supporting the legalisation of online gaming as well.
Jim Murren, MGM Resorts Chairman, said that there “is positive momentum in Congress” and that it is time for the “federal government to address this issue.” Murren went on to point out that currently millions of players spend billions of dollars at unregulated websites which is a clear demonstration of the need to regulation and consumer protection.