Study Shows Regulation of Internet Gaming Effective and Attainable

Study Unveiled During Financial Services Hearing on H.R. 2267

Washington, DC – The Poker Players Alliance (PPA), the leading poker grassroots advocacy group with more than one million members nationwide, today commended the release of a study by Harvard Professor Malcolm Sparrow showing that the best way to address the risks of Internet gambling is through regulation, not a prohibition. The study, commissioned by Wired Safety, a leading Internet safety non-profit, was released during the House Financial Services Committee hearing on H.R. 2267, the Internet Gambling Regulation, Consumer Protection, and Enforcement Act.

“Following last week’s decision by the Federal Reserve and the Department of Treasury to delay the implementation of the flawed Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA), the release of this study adds even more fuel to the fire that a prohibition like UIGEA won’t work and that licensing and regulation, such as Chairman Frank’s H.R. 2267, is the right answer,” said PPA Chairman Former Senator Alfonse D’Amato. “Robust and effective licensing and regulation will not only protect poker players, children and problem gamblers, but also collect billions in tax revenue that is currently being lost. This is a win-win situation.”

As more attention is being paid to the appropriate way for the U.S. to oversee online gaming, the Wired Safety study provides an academic view of how best to protect consumers. The study cites evidence that millions of U.S. consumers currently gamble online through offshore gambling sites, outside of American oversight and thus offering no consumer protections. The study concludes that a prohibition on online gambling would only serve to continue down this misguided path and turn a blind eye to protecting American consumers, especially children and problem gamblers.

The second, and equally important, component of the study is that not only is licensing and regulation the best approach, it is also realistically achievable given the technologies available today – and being used in other countries. Learning from what works around the world, the report identifies regulatory tools and technologies that have reduced the risks associated with underage and problem gamblers, money laundering, fraud, privacy and security.

“The technology to effectively regulate Internet gambling in the United States is available today – and it works. The time has come for Congress to acknowledge that Internet gambling is not going away and that consumers need – and want – the security of Federal regulation of this industry,” continued D’Amato. “The PPA looks forward to continuing to work with Chairman Frank on this legislation.”