|Internet gambling experts have spoken out in support of America’s proposed Internet Gambling Regulation And Enforcement Act, as they believe it would help combat both compulsive and underage gambling.|
The Act was introduced to UC Congress by Massachusetts Representative Barney Frank in response to the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA).
Industry experts on both sides of the Atlantic said that Frank’s legislation would, if passed, protect consumers by establishing a regulatory and enforcement framework to tackle compulsive and underage gambling and ensure the integrity of Internet gambling financial transactions.
“The graphical and interactive structure of the Internet provides a revolutionary opportunity to create informed customers with access to a variety of information designed to encourage safe choices and discourage unsafe behavior,” said Keith Whyte, Executive Director of the National Council On Problem Gambling, a leading US advocate for programs and services to assist problem gamblers and their families.
“Clearly gambling on the Internet raises some difficult issues but it provides theoretical opportunities for operators to deliver responsible gaming programs that meet or exceed current standards in the bricks-and-mortar gaming industry.”
Existing technology and security controls have already proven to be effective in addressing compulsive gambling and available safeguards include the ability to control the amount of money wagered and deposited, restrictions on the duration of play, the ability to identify and stop players with extraordinary gambling patterns and allow consumers to be excluded from online gambling.
“The robust, regulatory framework proposed by Congressman Barney Frank presents a viable opportunity to protect American consumers and combat problematic gambling,” said Andrew Poole, Head of Online Services for GamCare, a British charitable organization committed to addressing the social impact of gambling.
“Across Europe and the rest of the world, experience has shown that regulated Internet gambling and the implementation of proven safeguards can ensure more responsible gambling operations and off-set increases in problematic gambling.”
“Our experience indicates that the customer’s ability to make informed choices, to have information readily available regarding spending patterns and to have access to an independent body if aggrieved, are all significant measures towards reducing the risk of compulsive gambling,” said Andre Wilsenach, Chief Executive Officer of the Alderney Gambling Control Commission, which is responsible for overseeing the Internet gambling activities of Alderney-based operators.
“Opponents of Internet gambling are using scare tactics and misstating research studies to argue that Internet gambling will result in higher occurrences of compulsive gambling,” said Jeffrey Sandman, Spokesman for the Initiative.