As reported earlier this morning by Politico, there is a new game in town. Pointing to preserving states rights and keeping an internet ban off the table of the Federal Government, a newly formed coalition has made a commitment to fight the opposition of internet gaming.
The Coalition for Consumer and Online Protection issued its first press release today stating its goals to dispell the myths being publicized by billionaire Sheldon Adelson and his supporters. Adelson, chairman and CEO of the Las Vegas Sands Corporation, the parent company of The Venetian Resort and the Sands Expo Center in Las Vegas, the Sands Casino in Macau, and the Sands Casino in Bethlehem Pennsylvania, has been vocal about his commitment to “shut down the internet” including having his representative Andy Abboud testify before Congress. Adelson has vowed to take whatever steps are necessary to implement a federal ban on online gaming, reinstating and reenforcing what he says the Wire Act of 1961 was meant to do. In December 2011, the Department of Justice made public an opinion from their Office of Legal Counsel stating that the Wire Act referred only to games of sport/sportsbetting, clearing the way for legal online gaming to be enacted in the U.S. To date, Nevada, New Jersey and Delaware have passed laws allowing online gaming and all have launched sites with staunch regulations and restrictions in place to dispel myths saying it cannot be done.
The Coalition For Consumer and Online Protection’s press release today read as follows:
Washington, DC – Today the Coalition for Consumer and Online Protection (C4COP) launched its campaign against a congressional ban of online gaming. An online gaming ban simply would not work. Instead, a ban would jeopardize consumer safety, allow for the existing overseas black market to thrive, stifle innovation and growth, and infringe on individual and states rights. C4COP represents the voice of public-safety advocates, business leaders, technology leaders, state and federal elected officials, the gaming industry and millions of Americans who would be adversely affected by a ban.
An across the board congressional ban on online gaming would:
- Block common sense protections. Technology advances safeguards that protect children from participating in gaming sites cannot be mandated through an online gaming ban.
- Threaten states’ rights. New Jersey, Delaware and Nevada currently permit regulated online gaming and many state lotteries offer online products. An online gaming ban would revoke these states rights and threaten individuals’ rights to play popular online games like fantasy sports.
- Stifle innovation and growth. Trying to ban technological advances that consumers already embrace will drive consumers to an overseas black market that lacks even basic security protections. The millions of Americans who have a desire to participate in online gaming deserve protections to know which are safe and which to avoid.
Former California Congresswoman Mary Bono said “Congress can neither legislate the internet away nor consumer demand for online products. We need to do all we can to make sure the internet is a safe place for businesses, consumers, families and children. I am proud to be a part of the Coalition for Consumer and Online Protection to make sure that people know the risks behind implementing such a ban.”
Banning online gaming would revoke states’ rights. New Jersey, Nevada and Delaware, in addition to the many other states with online lottery products have already dedicated valuable resources into implementation of responsible, regulated programs that ensure safety and provide critical revenue to fund essential public services such as education and health care.
“An across-the-board federal ban on online gaming would have unintended negative effects for Americans by encouraging illegal online gambling and bolstering the current black market” added former Ohio Congressmen Mike Oxley. “Millions of Americans are currently engaged in online gaming. A congressional ban would essentially ensure that they are playing on an unsafe black market without the strong consumer protections that all Americans deserve.”
More information, including how to join their mailing list, can be found on the coalitions website: http://c4cop.com/ and through their twitter account @C4COP.