A Look Back at 2002 (January - June)

31 December 2002
Progress in California and Offshore

January 2, 2002 - Following short delays caused by an earthquake, the gaming arm of Kerry Packer's Publishing and Broadcasting Ltd. (PBL), launches its very highly anticipated online casino.

January 11, 2002 - British bookmaker William Hill says it will no longer accept wagers on its sports betting Web site from customers based in the United States.

January 11, 2002 - The Belgian House of Representatives passes a bill reforming the country's national lottery, possibly opening the door for regulated Internet gambling.

January 22, 2002 - The government to the Isle of Man issues an online gambling license to the online gaming subsidiary of Rank Group, one of England's largest casino operators.

January 24, 2002 - The California Horse Racing Board votes to allow Magna Entertainment Corp. and Television Games Network to take advance-deposit wagers on horse races via telephone and the Internet.

January 30, 2002 - American Gaming Association chief Frank Fahrenkopf tells congressional leaders that the AGA is not happy with the current version of Rep. Bob Goodlatte's I-gaming prohibition bill.

All Aboard the Prohibition Train

February 5 - U.S. Reps. James Leach and Michael Oxley send a letter to members of the U.S. House of Representatives asking for support for Leach's I-gaming funding prohibition bill.

February 7 - New Jersey Assemblyman Tony Impreveduto pre-files a bill that would bring legalized Internet casinos to the Garden State.

February 13 - A committee of the Arizona House of Representatives approves a bill that would outlaw Internet gaming via kiosks in bars.

February 13 - The Nevada Athletic Commission votes to prohibit the placement of temporary tattoos on boxers' backs during fights. The vote is in response to a long-running advertising campaign through which Golden Palace, on online casino, pays boxers to display the site's URL on there backs while fighting.

February 15 - Sun International Hotels Limited has announces that Station Casinos, Inc. will purchase a 50 percent interest in SunOnline Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of Sun. Through the acquisition, Station would join MGM Mirage as a major Vegas-based player in the I-gaming industry.

February 22 - The California Horse Racing Board makes Youbet.com the third officially licensed provider of the newly legalized Advance Deposit Wagering (ADW) system in that state.

February 22 - A Clark County District Court Judge grants a temporary restraining order against the Nevada Athletic Commission, prohibiting the commission from enforcing its decision to ban fighters from wearing temporary body markings in the ring.

February 22 - Jay Cohen, the only person in America to go to trial over criminal charges relating to Internet gambling, files a petition for a writ of certiorari with the Supreme Court. Cohen is seeking to overturn a judgment rendered July 31 by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. The appeals court upheld Cohen's conviction in a New York federal court for one count of conspiracy and seven counts of violating the Interstate Wire Act of 1961.

Dissonance in the US, Synergy in the UK

March 1 - Racing interests from various Australian states prepare for a battle against foreign operators looking to move in on Australian markets.

March 12 - In a three-page letter to U.S. Rep. Bob Goodlatte, the American Gaming Association formerly expresses its opposition to Goodlatte's Internet gambling prohibition bill.

March 12 - By a voice vote, the U.S. House Subcommittee on Crime approves Rep. Bob Goodlatte's anti-Internet gambling bill.

March 22 - An open dialogue is established between the U.S. Department of Justice and Nevada gaming regulators on the future of Internet gambling in Nevada. The state's regulators have asked for the DOJ's opinion on the legality of Internet gambling.

March 20 - A U.S. appeals court reverses a district court's ruling that AT&T is not obligated to provide toll-free phone numbers to the Coeur d'Alene Tribe of Idaho for the purpose of operating a telephone-based lottery.

March 25 - gains support for his competing bill. The latest group to back Leach is the Christian Coalition.

March 26 - The U.K. Department for Culture Media and Sports releases its proposals for reforming the gaming industry in England.

Prince Edward's Agenda

April 1 - Due to what it called a "slowdown" in the alternative payment solutions industry, payment processing company SureFire Commerce announces it will lay off 120 of its employees over the next four months.

April 3 - In its annual report mega-resort operator The Venetian states that it's "actively pursuing the possibility of developing and operating an Internet gaming site."

April 3 - A legislative committee in Hong Kong meets to review an amendment to the country's gambling law. If the Gambling (Amendment) Bill passes, it will be illegal to offer Internet gambling to residents of Hong Kong.

April 5 - The chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives Financial Services Committee begins campaigning for the Leach bill. Rep. Michael Oxley sends a letter to all House members asking them to support the legislation.

April 10 - Alderney of the British Channel Islands makes its highly anticipated move into the online casino business official by issuing three interactive gaming licenses.

April 17 - Five of England's biggest bookmakers ink a five-year deal with the British Horseracing Board for commercial use of racing data.

April 19 - MasterCard reveals plans to prohibit its merchants from taking credit-card payments via third-party processors

April 23 - As part of its 2003 budget plan, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission requests funds from Congress to study the availability of Internet gambling to minors.

April 24 - The Price Edward Island Court of Appeals rules that the provincial government does not have the authority to issue a license to operate an Internet lottery.

April 25 - Cross-border Internet gambling is a major topic of discussion at a meeting among the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development Tax Working Group Party No. 9. During the meeting, the Danish delegation presents its case for keeping online gambling within national borders.

April 29 - The head of New York's Senate Committee on Racing, Gaming and Wagering introduces a bill that would require offshore operators to register within the state.

Lights Out in Hong Kong

May 2 - Track owners and British bookmakers reach an "in principle" agreement that will allow British betting shops to continue carrying live racing pictures.

May 7 - The Washington Post, The Washington Times, The Hill and Roll Call run full-page advertisements in which British bookmaking group Sportingbet calls for the regulation and taxation of Internet gambling.

May 8 - Rep. Bob Goodlatte's anti-Internet gambling bill is pulled from a markup session in the House of Representatives Judiciary Committee.

May 15 - Rep. Bob Goodlatte's Internet gambling prohibition bill gains the support of the American Gaming Association.

May 22 - Hong Kong's lawmakers vote to ban offshore gambling, including Internet gambling. The law will go in effect just in time for the commencement of the 2002 World Cup.

May 23 - The Belgian Parliament considers a change in the National Lottery Act that would grant a monopoly to the National Lottery for conducting gambling business via the Internet. The National Lottery would control all forms of gambling, from sports betting and casino gaming to lotteries and bingo.

May 31 - The U.S. state of Nebraska's Supreme Court rules that telephone betting on horse racing is in violation of its constitution.

The End of Jay Cohen's Road

June 6 - Nearly two years after being ordered to sell its online sports betting subsidiary, Las Vegas-based sports book operator American Wagering Inc. (AWI) has found a buyer.

June 13 - A committee of the U.S. House of Representatives fails to pass an amendment that would provide an exemption for Internet gambling on dog races and jai alai in Rep. Bob Goodlatte's, R-Va., anti-Internet gambling bill.

June 14 - The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp (Pagcor), a government-run organization that oversees all gambling activities in the Philippines, assesses whether Sports and Games Entertainment Corporation will remain the country’s exclusive I-gaming licensee or whether it will open up the market to a competitor.

June 14 - Citibank reaches an agreement with New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer to decline authorization to Americans who try to use its credit cards for online gambling. The bank will also pay $400,000 to nonprofit groups that help families hurt by gambling addictions.

June 17 - The U.S. Supreme Court says it will not review the case of Jay Cohen, a bookmaker convicted, in conjunction with his online sports book, World Sports Exchange, of conspiracy as well as violating the Federal Wire Act.

June 18 - The U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Committee marks up Rep. Bob Goodlatte's Combating Illegal Gambling Reform and Modernization Act. Numerous special interest groups within the gambling and entertainment industries are poised to fight the new version of the bill, which has been amended to include no exemptions.

June 25 - An anti-Internet gambling bill is defeated in the California legislature. The bill had been strongly opposed by American Indian gambling interests.

June 26 - The U.S. Federal Trade Commission warns consumers that children have too much access to Internet gambling sites.