|The Interactive Gaming Council (IGC) (www.igcouncil.org) has been the online gaming industry’s unofficial collective voice since it published the first generally accepted and recommended Code of Conduct for the online gaming industry. Since then the IGC has consulted world governments, politicians and gaming regulatory officials looking to expand their insight into interactive wagering. The association has been advocating government regulation, advancing fair and honest gaming, and creating greater credibility for online gaming companies since 1996. |
The year 2003 will continue to be a busy year for the IGC and its role in establishing parameters with world governments for the online gaming policies. The IGC is intent on working with relevant authorities to achieve a cooperative resolution to issues confronting the industry and government, continue to promote credibility of the industry through regulation, and continue to advance the position of its membership. The IGC efforts will include establishing and / or continuing communication with key industry bodies and regulatory agencies; for example providing written and oral testimony to the Nevada Gaming Commission on the potential regulation of online gaming within the next couple of months.
One important issue after the World Trade Center attacks is confronting new legislation enacted to combat the use of the Internet to launder money used to fund global terrorist activities. While the IGC recognizes that the Internet imposes new challenges, including the enforcement of laundering illegal funds via various e-commerce models, effective regulation and use of new technologies would make our industry less susceptible to money laundering than the traditional casino industry.
That is not to say that it is impossible to launder money through cooperating online casinos. However, the IGC is intent on working with regulators in 2003 to eliminate the procedures that may leave the door open for money launderers. Particularly, the IGC sees a need for a higher degree of cooperation between industry and governments, ideally with a common, recognized set of regulations and standards.
And, going beyond the scope of money laundering, the IGC would like governmental input on accepted standards to protect minors from gaming and to protect compulsive gamblers from the risk of gambling online. These player protection measures are already technologically feasible using data cross checking methods and age verification software. However, until first world governments interested in regulating safe online gambling accept and implement these recommendations, less strict jurisdictions will continue to be in a prominent position hosting less regulated online activity.
While 2002 was a year of reorganization in the wake of the September 11th’s terrorist attacks, 2003 will be a year to implement new regulations and recommendations that will make online gaming safe for players and isolated from illegal activity. The upcoming year will be yet another step in the industries never ending process of self-improvement, and the IGC will be working hard to lead the way.