Issue Call to Clarify Federal Law to Combat Illegal Internet Gambling, Impose Strict Regulation of Online Poker
WASHINGTON, Sept. 15, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Former FBI Director Louis Freeh and former Pennsylvania Governor Tom Ridge, today, announced they have joined the Advisory Board of FairPlayUSA, a new coalition of law enforcement officials, consumer protection experts and others concerned about the failures in current law to put illegal Internet gambling operators out of business, the need to better protect consumers and the need to impose a strict regulatory framework for online poker.
"Current federal laws fail to provide U.S. law enforcement vital tools to address illegal internet gambling, enabling a 'wild-west' atmosphere," said Former FBI Director Louis Freeh. "I am joining FairPlayUSA to improve this environment by clarifying these laws, better empowering law enforcement agencies to crack down on violators and using licensing and regulation to ensure safe and legal online poker."
Millions of Americans regularly engage in Internet gambling on offshore websites that operate in direct violation of federal and state laws, and they play online poker on sites that fail to provide necessary consumer protections. Current laws that attempt to prohibit Internet gambling have failed to stop the illegal Internet gambling market from growing to $6 billion in the United States, which exposes minors to Internet gambling sites of all kinds, adult consumers to potential fraud with no legal recourse in dealing with unregulated operators and denies states the right to opt out of online poker.
"States and tribes have rights that must be protected by authorizing them to decide for themselves whether to accept or prohibit online poker and make use of sophisticated technologies already in use in other industries to enforce those decisions," said former Pennsylvania Governor Tom Ridge.
FairPlayUSA is a new coalition of law enforcement officials, consumer protection experts, poker players, companies in the commercial gaming industry and other Americans concerned about Internet gambling. The goal is to educate policymakers and the public on the broad public policy interests raised by the current ambiguous laws in the U.S. that have led to millions of Americans gambling on the Internet. FairPlayUSA supports Congress once and for all defining what is illegal gambling and providing stronger law enforcement tools to ban such gambling, as well as providing a strict regulatory framework for online poker.