Prime Table Games weighs in on net gambling

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A Las Vegas-based casino game development company ran a full-page statement in the global edition of the Wall Street Journal today weighing in on the online gambling debate in the United States.

The ad, placed by Prime Table Games, was timed to coincide with the House subcommittee hearing on the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act taking place Wednesday in Washington D.C.

The statement in the Wall Street Journal is titled "Who Will Face the Issues" and outlines the regulatory problems with international Internet gaming. According to a press release from the company, the primary concerns are 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," said Derek Webb, founder of Prime Table Games. "Congress needs to take action soon, or these practices will only get worse."

Prime Table Games' ad encourages Congress to adopt specific regulatory strategies for online gambling consumer protection. The company believes those regulatory strategies should 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

Prime Table Games would also like to see the Internet gambling sites 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. "Site operators also should pay fees towards problem gambling treatment and research."

On Wednesday, the House Subcommittee on Domestic and International Monetary Policy, Trade and Technology will meet to discuss the proposed UIGEA regulations that help further ban online gambling by preventing money transactions to online gambling sites.

The hearing will begin at 10 a.m. and will include testimony from representatives from the Federal Reserve System and the U.S. Department of Treasury.

Several representatives of financial institutions are also listed on the witness list, including Harriet May, who will be speaking on behalf of the Credit Union National Association; Wayne Abernathy, representing the American Bankers Association; Leigh Williams, from the Financial Services Roundtable; and Ted Teruo Kitada, on behalf of Wells Fargo & Co.

Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) already has a bill before the House that would take the United States away from an online gambling ban and put in a regulatory system instead. He introduced the Internet Gambling Regulation and Enforcement Act last year and has been working on gaining support for the bill.

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