New debate on online betting

The parent company of, a big Internet wagering site, has announced that it will launch an initiative called “Proposition 1: To Regulate or Prohibit Online Gambling?” which will bring the question of the legality of online gambling before the United States public. From yahoo, who just ran the press release:

The initiative will be anchored by a national summit tour during September in New York, Washington, D.C., Chicago and Los Angeles. Summit meetings will bring together experts in law, academia, industry and government to stimulate the discussion and debate needed to address issues critical to the development of federal regulation that will both recognize the growth and popularity of online gambling and provide key consumer protections. This begins with a focus on the merits of existing proposed legislation in Congress, but also looks at efforts by the Department of Justice to prohibit advertising by online gambling companies. Moreover, the initiative will address what the online and traditional “land-based” segments of the gambling industry should be doing together to demonstrate leadership in providing Congress valuable input and in protecting consumers.

To assist lawmakers with the process of developing the right legislation for consumers, BETonSPORTS will capture the key findings from the initiative in a white paper which it will publish just after the November 2 election.

“As an emerging form of entertainment, online gambling is growing exponentially and is here to stay in the U.S. Efforts in Congress to develop legislation have stalled and are otherwise polarizing people. The Department of Justice’s approach is also counterproductive. There’s a public policy vacuum on the issues and it’s in the best interests of consumers for industry to step in and help focus on what’s most important to consider and accomplish in creating legislation,” said David Carruthers, CEO of BETonSPORTS.

Also part of the initiative is a series of college campus debates and an advertising campaign.

‘Proposition 1: To Regulate or Prohibit Online Gambling?’, a National Public Policy Initiative

I’m chairing a session at the Global Gaming Expo on this very topic. So far, the panelists are Bob Blumenfeld, an attorney who assisted Antigua’s WTO challenge of United States gaming prohibitions, and Jay Cohen, the only man who has spent time in an American prison for violating the Wire Act by running an online operation. I’d love to have a representative of this initiative be part of it.

If you want to get involved in the debates (or suggest the inclusion of a certain academic expert who has just finished a book on the Wire Act and gaming prohibition), you can contact Kajal Jhaveri, Ruder Finn, at 212-593-5864 or

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