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SSIGI asks governor to end net gambling ban
Even more elements of the online gambling industry are weighing in on the online gambling domain name case in Kentucky. The Safe and Secure Internet Gambling Initiative released a statement this week asking the Kentucky governor to stop his efforts to ban online gambling in his state.
"The Safe and Secure Internet Gambling Initiative calls on Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear to support the regulation of Internet gambling as a way to protect Kentuckians and generate billions of dollars in new revenue, rather than seeking to prohibit the activity," said Jeffrey Sandman, spokesperson for SSIGI.
Beshear and other elements of the Kentucky government have moved to seize 141 online gambling site domain names from sites they believe are illegally doing business in Kentucky. According to the law, the state has the right to seize and forfeit "gambling mechanisms" associated with illegal online gambling.
In this case, they are considering the domain names of the Web sites to be a gambling mechanism.
Beshear has made the move in an effort to stop online gambling in the state under the guise of protecting his constituents.
SSIGI acknowledges that Beshear is right that Internet gambling is flourishing in an underground marketplace and that change is needed. However, SSIGI believes his solution is flawed.
"Prohibition has failed before and is not likely to stop Kentuckians or anyone in the U.S. from continuing to find a way to gamble online," Sandman said.
Instead, the SSIGI believes that Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) has the right idea with his proposed bill to regulate Internet gambling rather than ban it. His plan advocates a more responsible approach to protect consumers as well as to capture billions of dollars to fund critical government programs.
"Based on pending legislation, the Investing in our Human Resources Act (H.R.6051), Kentuckians could receive an estimated $556 million over 10 years to fund critical programs from regulated Internet gambling revenues," Sandman said.
"The bill also includes provisions to encourage responsible Internet gambling behavior and an awareness of unsafe practices, something problem gambling advocates praise."
Sandman points out that the governor has shown great leadership in the past in protecting his state's residents' rights to gamble on horse racing and in casinos if they wish to opt for that form of entertainment. He has advocated allowing casinos to set up in Kentucky as well.
"He should extend that right to those constituents who seek the freedom to gamble online, whether on poker, sports or other games," Sandman said. "We encourage Gov. Beshear to reverse his position and support Internet gambling regulation as a sensible approach to protect the interests of his constituents."
The SSIGI's goal is to promote the freedom of individuals to gamble online with the proper safeguards to protect consumers and ensure the integrity of financial transactions.
More information about the SSIGI can be found at www.safeandsecureig.org.