|BETonSPORTS.com’s national public policy initiative, ‘Proposition 1: To Regulate or Prohibit Online Gambling’ got underway yesterday when a panel of experts infields of law, education and online gambling assembled in New York to discuss the regulation vs. prohibition debate.|
The meeting is the first in a series of 'Summits' to be held across the U.S. this month, the goal of which is ‘to create a framework for lawmakers to regulate the online gambling industry in the US’.
The consensus of the panel was that online gambling will exist regardless of its legality and therefore regulation is necessary to protect consumers and bring the industry into ‘the full light of government oversight’.
Koleman Strumpf, an associate professor of economics at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, has completed extensive research on the subject and of the connection between prohibition of gambling and bad behavior: 'Regardless of one's view of betting, the prohibition policy that we are currently engaged in is a very bad policy because prohibitions tend not to work and prohibition tends to lead to exacerbating the harms associated with the activity, to bring out the worse in terms of encouraging bad behavior.'
Linda Goldstein, a partner with the firm of Manatt, Phelps and Philips LLP and a recognized expert in the advertising and marketing industry, said. 'I hope what happens here today is a catalyst for legislators and public policy makers to rethink some of the approach to this issue,' she said. 'The enforcement activities that have occurred have been haphazard and not really effective. The gambling laws and the acts that were written 50 years ago did not contemplate the invention of the Internet.'
Frank Catania, former Director of the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement, spoke extensively about how regulation in the online gaming industry can ensure that the rights of consumers and the rights of businesses are protected. 'What the Department of Justice is doing in the intimidation of media companies is a blatant violation of their authority,' he said. 'In my view, this industry should be regulated at the state level where the expertise about gaming exists. Online gaming companies can submit to probity checks, be required to conform to the regulations on payouts and that's where player protections can be instituted.'
The Summit tour continues in Washington on Thursday, September 16, at the Occidental Grill from 12:30pm to 3:30pm. Panelists will include Emily Hancock, E-Commerce and Technology Law Attorney at Steptoe & Johnson LLP, Robin Hanson, and Ph.D., Assistant Economics Professor at George Mason University, and Keith Whyte, Executive Director, National Council on Problem Gambling. Next, the Summit moves to Chicago on September 22 and Los Angeles on September 24.