The American Gaming Association (AGA) has released in a new policy statement that it is open to the idea of legalized internet gambling as long as the proper regulatory structure was enacted to protect consumers and the integrity of the game. However, while changing its stance on legalized internet gambling, it has still not endorsed any of the bills now before Congress.
Internet gambling is estimated to be a $26 billion a year industry.
AGA Chief Executive Officer Frqank fahrenkopf Jr. stated: “
“If something were to start, then fundamentally this give us a seat at the table… The majority of our board now has a favorable stance on Internet gaming, as long as there is strong regulatory control. But also, we’re not endorsing any of the bills now in the loop.”
The AGA estimates that $21 billion was wagered by players world wide in 2008 and that U.S. players bet$5.9 billion with offshoreonline gaming companies.
Fahrenkopf further stated: “”This is a topic our board has discussed many times…The board has been split three ways: those who were opposed, those who were in favor and those who were unsure. That left us pretty neutered, but this stance allows the organization to be a player in what is ultimately decided.”
He stated that the AGA studied the various technologies available and decided that the technology does now exist to regulate the industry and to safeguard against money laundering and underage gambling. The Association was split as to whether to support federal or state regulation.