The latest action by the American Gaming Association (AGA) likely hinders efforts in Congress to ban Internet gambling. The AGA represents major real-life casinos in Las Vegas and throughout the United States. Its board of directors agreed unanimously this week to call for a one-year study of Internet gambling. The study is to conclude whether online gambling should or should not be legal in the United States.
President Frank Fahrenk maintained his association is neutral on the online gambling question. Bob Goodlatte, a Republican from Virginia, has led an effort to outlaw Internet gambling in the past several months. Goodlatte’s bill to prohibit Internet gambling has 131 co-sponsors in the House but could have greatly benefited from the full support of the AGA.
“There have been great technological advances in the last 10 years, so we think it is important for a commission to be appointed to take a look at this and see if Internet gambling can be properly regulated,” said Fahrenkopf who also estimated there will be between $12 billion and $15 billion bet on the Internet this year (60 percent from U.S. citizens). “Something has got to be done about this, and we need to know if technology exists that can protect young people, pathological gamblers and prevent money laundering.”