Online gambling has started to become much less of a taboo over the past few years, but that has not stopped lawmakers from delaying proper regulation of online gambling in their respective countries or states. However, things aren’t as bleak as they might seem at a first glance, as laws restricting online gambling are few and rarely enforced, especially against online gamblers. They’re currently used more like a reason to punish those who go over the line, rather than being strictly imposed. And even this is changing, slowly but surely, all over the world and all over the United States, the country with a ton of online gamblers and a ton of anti-gambling laws. So let’s see what’s new in the fight for online gambling legality:
Internet Cafe Raids in North Carolina
I thought I’d start with the bad news first and rip the band-aid in one quick move. North Carolina has proclaimed that internet cafes offering “sweepstakes” are illegal, and so the authorities have started to raid the establishments earlier last week. Cumberland County was the scene of one of these raids which resulted in the arrest of the owners, citations being issued to players and the computers used in the internet cafe seized.
Whether things will change in the future is still uncertain, but online gambling sure has a tough time in North Carolina.
Microgaming Gets Seal of Approval
As we mentioned just yesterday, Microgaming got the seal of approval by eCOGRA, an internationally accredited testing agency devoted to protecting players from malicious companies. They have been giving out their approvals to companies and websites since their inception in 2003, and Microgaming is again one of the companies that are approved by the British company.
Poker moving forward in Washington
Poker news have been buzzing about a group that has been hard at work trying to gain support for their pro online poker movement which will, ideally, result in the regulation of online gambling in Washington state. If you want to contribute you should visit @OlympiaChange on Twitter and learn more from there. I’m willing to wager that there already are tons of petitioners even now, just a few short days after the challenge was launched.
Gambling uncertain in Illinois and Pennsylvania
Pat Quinn, the Governor of Illinois, has remained skeptic about the legislation of online gambling in his state. It was there that Senator Terry Link proposed a change to a land casino bill that would also regulate online gambling, a multi-billion dollar industry that would do nothing but good to the state. Governor Quinn has, however, somewhat rejected the idea, claiming that it is “problematic”. Quoting a lack of review and the fact that the idea is “brand new”, Governor Pat Quinn remains convinced that such an idea is not feasable for Illinois at the moment.
Meanwhile, in Pennsylvania, Rep. Tina Davis has authored an online gambling bill of her own. However, just after putting it forward in the House, Davis has withdrawn the bill claiming it still needed further work and more discussions with the interested parties. However, this is not a sign that she is abandoning the work for this cause. In a recent interview, Rep. Tina Davis has stated that she is going to re-introduce the bill within the next two weeks. Tensions also arose between her and fellow Rep. Paul Clymer (also from Pennsylvania), who plans to put forward a bill to ban online gambling in the state. After they talked on the matter, they agreed to disagree and most likely we will see the two totally different bills being put forward.
Antigua issues final Warning to US
In our last gambling law news, the World Trade Organisation is in turmoil after a meeting of the WTO’s Dispute Settlement Body in late March. If the US does not meet the Antiguans demands, they will be fined according to the WTO’s ruling back in January, which said that the Antiguans had the right to sell items copyrighted by the United States up to the amount of $21 million a year. The conflict, which arose from the US’ new regulation that prohibits overseas online gambling services, has yet to be resolved.