Opinions on expanding online gambling in the US are split.
After the FBI released a warning saying that online gambling sites in the US can be used by terrorists and criminals for money laundering, the Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling is asking lawmakers to “protect American families and the innocent bystanders caught up in criminal schemes online.”
The coalition funded by Sheldon Adelson, chairman of Las Vegas Sands Corporation, believes internet betting should be banned by American gambling laws and claims the FBI’s statement serves as evidence to support the case.
According to George Pataki, co-chair of the organization: “The FBI has said definitively that sophisticated technologies can be employed by terrorist groups and criminal organizations to move money undetected, conceal their physical locations, and entangle unwitting online players.”
Online gaming, here to stay
Geoff Freeman, president of the American Gaming Association, does not support the campaigners’ initiative to ban internet gambling altogether. “We cannot force the internet back into the bottle. We no longer have to debate about ‘do we want online gaming or do we not want online gaming?’” he said.
Freeman has a different approach to the issue and believes that American consumers need to be protected by stricter regulations. “The question is, are we going to regulate online gaming, in a way to protect minors, prevent criminal activity, reap tax revenue and other benefits, or are we going to allow the black market to continue to thrive?” he asked.