Panel Call for Clarity in US iGaming Policy
By staff
The thorny subject of the US policy towards Internet gambling was the focus of debate when the National Legislators from Gaming States in Las Vegas last weekend. Congress was criticised for its seemingly muddled policy of legalizing online horse race betting in seventeen states, whilst failing to address critical issues about the future of other forms of Internet gambling in the country.

Frank Catania, a former New Jersey state legislator and gaming regulator now representing the Interactive Gaming Council, an international not-for-profit trade association said, 'The United States policy with regard to online gaming continues to restrict the world's most respected casino gaming companies from being competitive in the industry.”

Keith Kizer, a former advisor to the Nevada Gaming Commission now representing the state's attorney general's office, called for clarification of the Federal Wire Act 1961, which the US Justice Department cites as prohibiting Internet gambling. Without such clarification, he said of Nevada, '(Internet gaming) is either illegal or it's unclear and we'll just have to wait for the federal law to be enacted.'

Many felt that restricting the Internet is simply unrealistic and, in the words of Toni Cowan, a senior deputy attorney in Nevada's attorney general office, unlikely to get international cooperation. 'The Internet is inherently global,' she said, “It’s like a spider’s web, and any attempt to restrict activity is only likely to force it to switch to another strand of the web.”

The NCLGS was founded in 1995 and is comprised of state legislators responsible for gaming policy across the US and works for the “appropriate regulation of gaming, the education of public policy makers on gaming issues, the continued primacy of the states in deciding public policy on gaming.”

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