• UK EMBRACES ONLINE GAMBLING WHILE US ISOLATES

    10 November 2006

    Newspaper

    POKER NEWS
    November 09, 2006
    Haley Hintze
    In an article written by Haley Hintze at POKER NEWS, comparisons were made between the governments of Great Britain and the United States…. “A virtual line in the sand drawn by United Kingdom officials responsible for the oversight of Britain’s legalized online gaming industry is likely to further isolate the United States in its efforts to legislate online gaming out of existence. As reported in The Register, the U.K. will strengthen its commitment to regulating and licensing online gambling companies, though it will still extradite U.K.-resident gaming executives to the U.S. upon request. The announcement comes out of the recent conference of over 30 countries currently housing online gaming, hosted by Great Britain at its famed Royal Ascot racetrack.”

    U.K. Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell was quoted as saying “We do not support the approach the United States has taken. The enormous risk of prohibition is that it forces the industry underground.” In a separate release, Jowell is quoted as saying, “We will welcome them here because we believe that by allowing those who want to gamble to do so over the counter not under the counter is the best way to protect children and vulnerable people and keep out crime.”

    The article then raises the question inquiring minds would really like to know… did the land-based casinos back the wrong horse? “The U.K. announcement changes very little on the surface as it applies to U.S.-based online gamblers, but it has a very deep secondary effect, one likely to make land-based gaming concerns in the U.S. wondering if they’ve backed the wrong horse in their long-shot hopes that the UIGEA will break down and reassemble the online-gaming market into a form more to their suiting. U.S. gaming concerns had cause to hope that the damage caused by the passage of the UIGEA would have a domino effect throughout the online-gaming industry, with major casino interests more likely, at a later date, to be able assume a dominant worldwide market position should a subsequent federal legalizing of online gaming occur.” “This argument, buttressed by the size of the U.S. gambling consumer market, was that other countries would fall in line behind the U.S.’s wishes. When combined with the gigantic marketing muscle wielded by the largest U.S. land-based gaming interests, it wasn’t that much of a stretch to imagine the U.S. trying to bully its way to the top of a market where it was severely behind the curve, assuming it could shake free of far-right motives behind the UIGEA’s passage. The odds of a Harrah’s becoming the worldwide online-gaming leader have become rather more remote.”

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