Big Debate – Part 2: Why the US needs to introduce regulated online gambling, by William Pascrell III

Big Debate – Part 2: Why the US needs to introduce regulated online gambling, by William Pascrell III

Tuesday, February 10, 2015 Totally Gaming

In response to yesterday’s piece published on TotallyGaming.com, ‘The argument against online gambling in the US, by Blanche Lincoln’, William Pascrell III of the Princeton Public Affairs Group tells TotallyGaming.com why the US must introduce regulated online gambling.

 

Let's face it, Americans love to gamble, writes William Pascrell III.

Throughout our nation’s history, the federal government has deferred many issues to state regulation. Insurance, motor vehicle inspection and regulated gaming have all been under the purview of the states.

With the exception of Utah and Hawaii, 48 states have legalized some form of gaming, either commercial, tribal gaming or lottery. It is an important revenue generator for the states that have seen dramatic budget cuts due to ever shrinking revenues.

Twenty-five years ago we experienced the birth of the Internet. It's been an amazing ride. Like any technology development it has seen some tricky issues, but on balance it has improved the quality of life for many.

Through the Internet, e-commerce has been growing exponentially year over year. E-commerce complements and enhances traditional brick and mortar retail business. When regulated and done right, the internet can enhance convenience for customers, expand a company's customer base and allow business to stay connected with their clients.

In the past two years, three states – Nevada, Delaware and New Jersey – have legalized and regulated online gaming. It's been very successful. Because of superb technology in age verification, geo-locationing and cyber security, legalized regulated igaming has been very positive.

In the first year alone New Jersey generated over $125 million of gross gaming revenue, while complementing the bricks and mortar casino industry.

Picture: William Pascrell III

Despite opponents of regulated online gaming trying to stir paranoia, there have been no reports of under-age gambling, extra jurisdictional player access, cyber breaches or bank fraud. This is because when you regulate and tightly control Internet gaming it works for government, consumers and business.

Igaming is only going to grow and improve over time. It's a nascent industry with tremendous potential.

Those who attempt to peddle arguments to make Internet gaming illegal ignore the facts that black and grey market igaming is happening every day in America.

The only way to control predatory practices, problem gambling and prevent further criminal enterprises is to strictly regulate it. It's a state’s rights issue. There is no better recognized way to track and block problem gamblers than regulated igaming. To suggest that we allow igaming to continue unfettered and unregulated is irresponsible.

Americans spend hours each day enjoying the Internet with music, movies and social and casino games. We should look to make this experience more enjoyable, safe and productive. By regulating Internet gaming, we accomplish all three and create much needed additional revenue sources that complement existing bricks and mortar businesses.  

Internet Gaming must develop and become increasingly more innovative in order to survive. The casino industry, much like the old school newspaper industry, film and movies, must be able to develop and become more nibble with the new generation of gamers.

The opponents of Internet gaming have no plausible argument to justify blocking Internet gaming. Their position is untenable and if ever realized will be the death nell to the great casino industry that has created jobs, careers and revenue for cash strapped state governments.

America should go all in on regulated igaming.  It's time to regulate it in all 50 States and allow the industry to develop and grow.

 

About the author:

William J. Pascrell, III, Esq. Better known as BPIII is Government Affairs Professional with an extensive practice in gaming.  He is the Executive Director of the newly formed AI2G American Institute for i-Gaming which was founded to promote legal, regulated Internet gambling at the state, tribal and federal levels through education, research advocacy and outreach to government and other key stake holders in the United States. 

To read Part 1 of the Big Debate – ‘The argument against online gambling in the US, by Blanche Lincoln’ – click here.

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