AGA Chief Says No to H.R. 3215
By Earl
The American Gaming Association is the lobbying arm of the casino industry in the United States, and although many of the land-based casinos see Internet casino gambling a threat to their own businesses, AGA Chief Executive Frank Fahrenkopf announced last Monday that the AGA will oppose Representative Bob Goodlatte’s bill, H.R. 3215, which would render Internet gambling illegal in the U.S.

Goodlatte’s bill has just won unanimous approval of the U.S. House Judiciary subcommittee on crime, but Fahrenkopf told the Virginia Republican that the AGA opposes H.R. 3215 for several reasons.

The bill would unjustly ban Internet gambling in and between states where it is already specifically legal.

The bill would, in effect, stop even any hope Nevada land-based casino operators may have of establishing regulated Internet casinos in Nevada.

The bill would exempt pari-mutual racetrack betting from its prohibitions, which the AGA considers a double-standard that would be unfair to the casino and Native American gaming industries.

The AGA also doubts whether the bill would stop illegal Internet gambling anyway, as the reach of the bill would touch online gambling sites, but not the gamblers.

Fahrenkopf said there was ‘significant opposition’ to the legislation: ‘Native Americans oppose it, the dog racing industry opposes it, the banks and credit card companies oppose it.’ (The bill would ban payments made via credit cards or online methods for paying for Internet gambling.)

H.R. 3215 will now go the full House Judiciary Committee for consideration.

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