Schizophrenic Casinos
By Earl
by Earl Williams

Frank Farenkopf, top man of the American Gaming Association, is in the news again, this time for doing what may seem to some a flip-flop on his reported support for Internet gambling, a day after the media had him behind the new gambling industry. Fahrenkopf remains adamant that land-based gambling interests, which of course represent the established majority of the gambling interest in the USA and everywhere, are opposed in principle to online gaming.

Any confusion over Fahrenkopf's actual and consistent position on I-gambling may have resulted from his and the Association's past differences with Representative Bob Goodlatte (Rep., VA), whose House Bill H.R. 3215 would ban casino gambling but allow online horse race betting. Fahrenkopf met this week with Congressman Goodlatte to discuss his revised, pending bill, which would ban sports booking as well as online casino gambling if passed. Perhaps an understanding has now been reached on the matter, at least between the Congressman and the gambling chief, for the AGA, said Fahrenkopf, remains opposed to online gaming.

But Fahrenkopf also said the AGA could oppose the Goodlatte bill and support instead the Leach-Oxley bill in Congress, which would make it illegal for Internet gaming operators to accept payments using credit cards, debit cards, and other electronic money transferring devices (thereby eliminating online gambling all together, except by cash or check, which would seem impractical).

'At this point in time we have not made a final decision as to what we are going to do,' Fahrenkopf said, in order to make the matter clearer. He said the AGA as a group would have the last word on its position on Internet gambling. That decision may come within two weeks. Let's hope online gambling gets a fair shake.

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