By Jeremy Morris, Associate Editor, US Daily Review
Michael Waxman, spokesperson for the Safe and Secure Internet Gambling Initiative, offered the following comments on today’s hearing about how best to protect consumers with the expansion of Internet gambling activity in the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation:
“Today’s hearing is critical for getting on the record in the Senate what we already know – federal regulation is the only path to create uniform standards to control Internet gambling activity and protect all Americans. I’m optimistic this hearing sets the stage for the Senate to take on this issue and put needed protections in place.
“The greatest risk we face is if Congress passes on the opportunity to control Internet gambling activity. Except in a few states, Americans will remain vulnerable without enforceable rules to protect against money laundering, fraud and abuse.
“Congress shouldn’t cede the regulation of Internet gambling to state lawmakers. Instead, it should seize the opportunity to create consistent oversight of the industry, reinforcing state and tribal rights and utilizing existing expertise of established gambling regulatory bodies. The Internet, online commerce, and online gambling are by nature interstate activities, demanding the attention of federal, not state, regulators.
“Beyond protecting consumers, Congress has the opportunity with federal action to spur economic growth and generate significant new federal and state revenues.
“Already, we are seeing significantly inconsistent state laws adopted to control Internet gambling activity. We’re on the road to a complete patchwork of rules that differ on permissible activities, who is eligible to be an operator and required consumer protections. These inconsistencies create confusion for consumers, burdens operators and limits the growth of the industry domestically and internationally.
“We already know Internet gambling regulation works. In countries like the UK where strict rules control the industry, consumers are protected, financial transactions are safe and money laundering has been eliminated.”