Britain is planning to host global online gaming talks in the coming year in an effort to seek support for its initiative to harness the booming industry and help protect under-age gamers, adolescents, and children from gaining access to the multitude of Internet poker and casino sites proliferating on the web, government officials announced this week.
According to industry insiders, the international talks have been pushed to the front of the U.K.'s culture, media, and sport ministry's agenda due to the launch of three massive, revenue-generating floats on the London Stock Exchange last year: PartyGaming Plc., owner of PartyPoker.com; 888.com, owner of Pacific Poker; and Empire Online, owner of Empire Poker and Noble Poker.
The announcement of international talks comes on the heels of last year's introduction of the Gambling Act, the U.K.'s answer to modernizing its 40-year-old gaming laws.
Anthony Wright, a spokesman for the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, said on Monday, "We want to initiate a discussion about problem areas which include protection of children, advertising, money laundering and criminal infiltration."
Wright 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."