Internet gambling has always had a cunning nemesis that lurks in the shadows of Atlantic City and Las Vegas. An enemy so ruthless and so powerful that fighting it seems almost futile. Who is this treacherous entity? It is none other than the land casino industry.

Perfectly coordinated to coincide with today’s Congressional hearings on Internet gambling and the implications of the headache inducing Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA), an influential land casino has come out swinging against the online poker gambling industry in an expensive, full page statement designed to undermine their efforts in the global edition of the highly respected Wall Street Journal.

Derek Webb, founder of the Las Vegas based Prime Table Games, was behind the Wall Street Journal advertisement. Webb has staged anti-online gambling attacks before and will surely not stop now with the future of the UIGEA tiptoeing across the edge of knife.

Entitled “Who Will Face the Issues,” the Wall Street Journal advertisement outlines what land based casinos see as regulatory issues that are associated with international Internet gambling. Among the various points that were cited include: gaming fraud, consumer protection and protection of intellectual property rights.

"It is well known that there are off-shore based Internet gaming operators who are engaged in deceptive practices with American consumers and international players, and there is no adequate system in place to ensure full and appropriate regulation. Congress needs to take action soon, or these practices will only get worse," the statement asserts.

Prime Table Games is pushing Congress to adopt several specific regulatory strategies that should be implemented in online gambling to ensure consumer protection. Some of these provisions include:

-Limitations on solicitations and incentives to gamble, such as bonuses and cash back
-Prohibition of affiliate relationships
-Standard player verification procedures
-Giving players the ability to self-exclude and have it automatically apply to all online gambling sites
-Site operators assume responsibility for identity verification
-Internet gambling sites be required to verify that players can afford to gamble at their chosen level.
-Internet gambling debts shouldn't be legally recoverable, and players who don't pay gambling debts should automatically be placed on an exclusion list

“Internet gaming, by its very nature, has great potential for abuse," Webb said in a supporting press release. "Site operators also should pay fees towards problem gambling treatment and research.”

Today the House Subcommittee on Domestic and International Monetary Policy, Trade and Technology will meet to discuss the highly controversial provisions of the UIGEA. The future of American online gamers could very well depend on the results of this debate, so be sure to keep following this story if you consider yourself an online gambler.

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