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New Hampshire Governor Open to the Prospect of Regulating Online Casinos

3 April 2010 by Devon Chappell

Among the U.S. States whom would be interested in legalizing and taxing online gambling if the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) was overturned and regulatory mandates were passed, i.e, Senator Jim McDermott and Barney Frank’s companion bills – the Internet Gambling Regulation Consumer Protection and Enforcement Act and the Internet Gambling Regulation and Tax Enforcement Act – it’s a good bet to add New Hampshire to the list.

Governor John Lynch, who actually opposes brick ‘n mortar casino gambling and slot machines, is saying he may very well support legislation that would regulate and tax online gambling. In fact, Governor Lynch will be unveiling a plan next week to help New Hampshire close a fast-growing budget deficit during trying economic times. Of the many options in this plan, one of them is online gambling.

Lynch’s critics, or rather, those who oppose online gambling for one reason or another, have already spoken out against the prospects of regulating online gambling. On of these critics is Senator Bob Clegg, who just so happens to be a lobbyist for a golf club seeking to build a casino resort in the city of Hudson. According to Senator Clegg, “The governor is worried about proliferation of gaming, but it sounds like he’s going to make every computer terminal in every home and every BlackBerry — including those BlackBerrys held by kids in high school — a gambling facility.”

What Senator Clegg doesn’t understand however, is that when online gambling is properly regulated – as it is in the United Kingdom – minors are blocked from opening accounts at online casinos. Strict identity checks and fraud prevention protocols also prevent illegal credit card use and money laundering. And if State’s were given individual say in regulating online casinos, the minimum age could be raised from the generally accepted eighteen year benchmark, which needless to say, most land-based casinos operate by.

Of course, at this stage, Governor Lynch’s idea to regulate online gambling is nothing more than wishful thinking. If the UIGEA is permitted to come into law in June later this year, rather than being overturned, it will be black-market, underground business as usual.

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