The US casino industry represented by the American Gaming Association in the United States, has now begun lobbying for the regulation of online poker in the US. AGA’s support of the regulation for online poker means that they are interested in the online poker market and hence want the US also to be part of the same.
In order to lobby for the support, the AGA held a news conference in Washington DC at the National Press Club. Lead by Frank Fahrenkopf, the CEO of AGA, it also had Keith Smith, president of Boyd Gaming, Virginia McDowell, president of Isle of Capri Casinos and Gordon Kanofsky, CEO of Ameristar Casinos. Frank Fahrenkopf said “The millions of American who are playing poker online deserve to know they are playing safely with law-abiding operators…”
Gaming executives and leaders will be meeting white house officials and congressmen regarding the regulation and its acceptance on a regular basis in the next few weeks.
The lobbying effort is right on time, a month after the indictment, but could have been brought in earlier when the poker advocates had requested the casino executives and the gaming experts for help. The indictments have caused the shutdown of some of the top online poker sites, namely, PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker, Absolute Poker and UB.
There have been different bills passed on to the Congress in support of internet poker in the past and there is also a bill in Congress right now, the HR 1174, the Internet Gambling Regulation, Consumer Protection, and Enforcement Act, but this bill is identical to the past legislation that was not approved. A bill that attempted to carve out a niche for online poker was backed by Senator Harry Reid but it failed. However, the AGA may be pushing for this legislation on different grounds that might help this lobbying.
Casino executives and advocates lobbied for the same stating clear benefits that would be seen in the form of jobs and revenues for the government and for themselves, while poker advocates and gaming advocates are building their case on consumer protection and awareness, for the good of US customers. Health aid, Indian gaming market and online poker bill are part of the agenda of these meetings.
There is hope while the current administration presides over these issues, since the past administration was strongly against this matter, and did not encourage any such efforts and conferences.