Support for Labeling System to Block Minors
By Michael
The Interactive Gaming Council has announced its support for the Internet Content Rating Association (ICRA) labeling system which would allow adults to prevent minors gaining access to gambling sites.

The ICRA labeling system allows a parent to block sites in categories such as gambling from their computer.

This follows shocking findings of a survey of 100 popular Internet gambling sites. One in five had no warnings for minors and most had disclaimers that were hard to find. The sites also lacked screening mechanisms to keep children out Federal Trade Commission found.

The blocks will need to be good. The FTC survey also found that many sites which were already labeled unsuitable for children had blocks that kids could easily get around.

According to Rick Smith, Executive Director of the IGC, “Nobody benefits if children participate in Internet gaming, and the IGC will continue to work hard at assuring its members take every precaution to restrict Internet gambling to children.

“The IGC will continue to communicate with governments, legislators, operators and others to develop and implement effective control measures for the industry. ICRA labeling is a logical and effective means to accomplishing our goal of keeping children away from Internet gaming Web sites,” he said.

ICRA’s priority is a safer Internet for children through consumer choice, not censorship. Mary Lou Kenny, ICRA Director, North America added, “The process is simple and free. A content provider voluntarily labels their site using predefined categories. Parents use the ICRA filter to read the labels and ensure a safer online experience for their child.”

Currently, some of the top Internet gaming companies working through the IGC are spearheading initiatives to encourage adoption of systems that allow adults to restrict access to certain Web sites.

According to Sue Schneider, Chairman of the IGC, the goal is two-fold: limit access by minors and show applicable government agencies that there are responsible companies in the Internet Gaming space that are willing to take available proactive steps to prevent underage gambling.

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