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Signing Up for Internet Account in Person—Potential Stipulation for Internet Regulation

10 January 2011 by admin

While online gambling regulation bills did not pass in 2010, some lawmakers are not giving up. It seems the focus of such online gambling regulations have shifted to the state level for 2011. This would be because the conservatives have a choke hold on saving us from ourselves on the federal level. So online gambling lawmaking enthusiasts have turned their gaze to the states to set up the safeguards that would allow for online gambling.

And one state thinks that having online gamblers sign up in person at a land casino and depositing money at a land casino is a proper safeguard. I know, where did this come from?

Thanks to a loop hole in the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement act (UIGEA), individual states have the power to set up regulations for online gambling within their state. In need of revenue and fed up with waiting to see if federal lawmakers are going to give up the near-Prohibition-like ban on online gambling, at least four states are looking at regulating online gambling: New Jersey, California, Florida and relative new-comer to the state level online gambling regulation scene, Iowa.

But we cannot have online gambling regulations without safeguards. After all, the actual purpose of regulations is to provide protection of US citizens who wish to gamble online. If safety was not an issue it would only be a matter of lifting UIGEA. But safety is an issue and this is one of the conundrums of state level lawmakers—how best to protect our residents while still allowing them to gamble online so that we can still generate the revenue we need.

A couple of the major concerns of online gambling are preventing underage gambling and, finding away to keep people from gambling in excess. Meaning, how to put a limit on how much patrons can gamble. One Iowa senator thinks he has found a potential answer. Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal has the idea of having online gambling patrons sign up at land casinos in their state. This portion of Gronstal’s safeguard idea would take care of the underage gambling issue. Employees at land casinos could then check and verify IDs of those signing up for online casino accounts.

The other portion of Gronstal’s safeguard is to have those with online casino accounts deposit money to their accounts in person. Employees of land casinos could refuse to allow a deposit of funds to a player account if the deposit was being made with a credit card. It is believed that gambling should be made on credit, and there is a certain degree of good thought behind that as it would help compulsive gamblers to not gamble away money they do not have, sending themselves into credit card debt.

But there is one big oversight to Gronstal’s safeguard. Can anyone tell me what it is?

Signing up in person for an online account and making deposits in person defeats the purpose of having an account with an online casino and gambling online. Imagine driving to the nearest land casino and opening an online casino account in person. Then imagine making your deposit. Then you have to drive back home in order to do your online gambling. And when you need to add more money to your player account you have to drive back to a land casino.

Defeats the purpose is almost an understatement. You might was well stay at the land casino and play for the fact that you have to go there and keep going there. I understand that safeguards are a very big part of online gambling regulation, and I am quite behind having them…if they are not thoroughly ridiculous and undermine the whole purpose of gambling online in the first place.

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