A recent session in the British House of Commons saw a number of ministers reiterate their desire that Britain be a leader in the establishment of international regulations governing the Internet gaming industry.
According to reports, Richard Caborn, the minister responsible for land-based and online gambling, spoke of the need to help protect under-age gamers, adolescents, and children from gaining access to the multitude of Internet poker and casino sites proliferating on the web, as well as to protect these same Internet sites from fraud, and the industry itself from money laundering and criminal infiltration.
The initiative was originally put forward last month, when the Department for Culture, Media and Sport proposed that an international summit be set up to deal with these issues, an idea that was received with interest among the Australian, New Zealand, and South African governments.
At the time, Anthony Wright, a spokesman for the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, said, "We want to initiate a discussion about problem areas which include protection of children, advertising, money laundering, and criminal infiltration." He further explained, "We became the first industrialized nation to legalize online gaming ...The reason we introduced the act was to regulate the new forms of gambling. We can only get so far on our own."
Accordingly, Caborn informed the House this week that Tessa Jowell, the Culture Secretary, would be inviting her foreign counterparts "...to see whether we can look at some international regulation whereby we can look at these issues of problem gambling on the Internet."
Several major online gaming firms have also expressed enthusiasm at creating a set of international regulations to harness the booming industry, as have numerous credit card companies.
Please see PokerListings.com's previous article regarding this issue at Global Online Gaming Talks.