American Gaming Association Backs Away From Online Gambling Legalisation

Land casino trade association pulls support for online gambling

The chief executive officer of land gambling industry group the American Gaming Association, Geoff Freeman, told the Wall Street Journal Wednesday that the body is withdrawing official endorsement for online gambling.

Freeman, who has hitherto been a strong supporter for federally legalised online gambling, said that the genre was "… an issue that the Association cannot lead on" because of disagreement among major land casinos.

Companies such as MGM and Caesars have advocated for legalisation, but Las Vegas Sands chief executive officer Sheldon Adelson has led a national campaign against it. The difference of opinion has repeatedly spilled into the public domain.

"One of the things I've learned in this industry is that we are extraordinarily competent at shooting at one another," Freeman told the WSJ. "The snipers in this industry are of the highest quality, and if you let that be the focus, we'll kill each other."

Just last year Freeman submitted written testimony to Congress advocating for the legalisation of online gambling, writing that the government should "make no mistake: online gaming is here to stay. The government cannot put the Internet back in the bottle."(See previous InfoPowa reports.)

His testimony claimed that the current "futile attempts at prohibition" have merely driven online gamblers to a "thriving black market" with offshore links.

In an interview in March this year incoming AGA chairman Jim Murren hinted that a retreat may be about to take place when he said that the Association perhaps needed to "dial down" its rhetoric on the contentious subject because the debate was fracturing the membership of the trade organisation… clearly a reference to the vehement but singular opposition to online gambling of Sheldon Adelson.

Earlier this year it was announced that a new group, the Coalition for Consumer and Online Protection, with backing from MGM and the AGA, would become involved with the struggle to oppose attempts at a federal online gambling ban.

Bills introduced by Sen. Lindsey Graham and Rep. Jason Chaffetz are currently at committee stage in the House and Senate, and seek a blanket ban on internet gambling through a resurrection of the 1961 Wire Act.

Online Casino News Courtesy of Infopowa

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Casinomeister

The man with the plan here at Casinomeister. Bryan Bailey has been running Casinomeister since its launch in June of 1998. He has watched the industry grow from its primeval stage to what it is now. The Meister has attended nearly 100 conferences in the past 20 years and has either been a speaker or a panel moderator for at least 60 events. He has always been an advocate of fairness and reason and is known to like German beer, a good Scotch, and astrophography.
bryan@casinomeister.com

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