US Online Gambling Updates
From the US Gamblers weekly newsletter:
Hillary Clinton Supports Online Gaming Study
The online gaming community has renewed hope for one of the candidates running for US President, and she just happens to be the favorite to win. With the Nevada Caucuses taking place last Saturday, The Las Vegas Sun reports that Democrat Hillary Clinton supports a study to determine if Internet gaming can be fairly regulated so that individuals can safely participate in it and American businesses can compete in the international market.
Until now, only Republican Presidential candidate Ron Paul has gone on record as denouncing prohibition of online gaming.
"I believe strongly that the internet should not be regulated by the federal government and believe even more strongly that people should be free to engage in the activities they wish, as long as they are willing to take responsibility for their actions." Dr. Paul said. He also indicated that politicians are afraid to touch any issue related to the Internet "for fear it would label them 'pro-gaming'."
While Clinton leads in polls, Paul leads among many of Republican candidates in terms of finances. A huge grass roots one-day fundraiser is being planned on Martin Luther King's Birthday this coming Monday January 21. Paul has mostly been ignored by the mainstream media, however.
Ms. Clinton's proclamation could also serve as an indirect shot at Senator John McCain, whose fellow Arizona Senator, Jon Kyl, helped push online gaming prohibition through the Senate in late 2006. McCain is presently the favorite to win the Republican nomination and prediction markets indicate he likely will.
In the past Senator McCain has attempted to get legislation passed that would ban betting on college sports. Unlike his colleague in Arizona (Jon Kyl), who has received significant amounts of money from major sports leagues that have pushed to ban Internet gaming, McCain's arguments against college sports wagering have some merit and are not necessarily viewed as being pushed along by "special interests".
He's also a casino gambler himself who has been photographed at the tables...sometimes in front of big stacks of chips. Whether he would encourage such studies into the regulation of online gaming remain to be seen.
According to the Las Vegas Review Journal, a few big companies like MGM Mirage and Harrah's Entertainment have supported efforts to legalize Internet gaming, but the concept lacks broad support.
Though the right to gamble has never been a pressing issue for most Americans and it may be years before Congress takes up the issue again, some industry experts say legalization is inevitable because of the potential tax revenue now going offshore
"This legislation has a loophole big enough to drive a truck through that was designed solely to protect betting on horse racing and lotteries over the Internet," Ms. Berkley, who co-chairs the Congressional Gaming Caucus, "Internet gaming is becoming more popular every day and we need a comprehensive federal study that looks at the question of whether or not it can be effectively regulated and what role technology can play in accomplishing that goal.
Antigua to Sit Down With US Over Internet Gaming Dispute
Antigua and Barbuda's finance minister, Errol Cort is set to have talks with a United States Trade Representative today in an effort to bring resolution to the Internet gaming dispute between the two countries.
Cort left the island on Wednesday for today's meeting with the US official, Susan Schwab.
"We believe this matter can be settled in an amicable way because we enjoy an excellent relationship with the United States," he said.
"I am therefore hopeful we can come to some broad understanding in terms of settlement."
Antigua and Barbuda officials have already been given the go-ahead by the World Trade Organisation to target U.S. services, copyrights and trademarks in retaliation for a U.S. online betting ban.
The WTO also ruled Antigua could impose only US$21 million in annual trade sanctions and not the US$3.4 billion the island had requested.
Antigua has insisted the U.S. is trying to cripple its gaming industry by banning Americans from placing online bets with gaming operators, including those based on the island.