Internet Gaming: The Full Story

30 November 1996

Gaming attorney, Tony Cabot of Lionel Sawyer & Collins, has been a busy guy. And he's finally ready to share what he's learned about internet gaming with the readers of IGN. We had the opportunity to preview his newly-released Internet Gaming Report and think you'll find it quite interesting.

Whether you're a software systems supplier, a casino site operator or a consumer, you'll find this in-depth report of interest. He covers the basics, of course, but quickly gets into some detailed analysis of the obstacles to internet gaming such as privacy issues, security and the integrity of the operators...all potential blocks to building consumer confidence in this unregulated segment of a highly regulated industry.

Cabot expounds at length about the legal uncertainties of internet gaming and whether its competition with traditional casinos, tracks, sportsbooks and lotteries will draw opposition from those entrenched in gaming.

Why does the government regulate gambling and is it an inevitability with internet gambling? This is one of my favorite could it not be with such subtitles as "gambling as an inevitable vice", "gambling as a savior."

He also talks about how regulators and policy-makers will likely be frustrated by trying to regulate internet gambling. Will they try to eradicate it or decriminalize it? That leads to a discussion of the various models which are the undergirding of regulatory interesting section which opened my eyes as to how and why the government steps in and whose interests are truly being protected.

Of course, one of the biggest issues with the future of internet gaming is the lack of a mechanism for legalizing, regulating and ultimately taxing this international and multi-jurisdictional activity. For the U.S., which is struggling with the issue, law enforcement folks here not only lack the tools (laws) but any enforcement mechanisms. If it's legal in a Caribbean island, how do U.S. officials go after the operators? Should they concentrate on the Internet Service Provider (ISPs) or (Yikes!) the index providers? Or are they left only with the most distasteful and unenforceable choice of all...going after the consumer?

He ends with a discussion of options including self-regulation. (Keep an eye on IGN for some news on that very soon!)

Take a look at what Tony Cabot has written. It's clearly one of the most thorough, well thought out and objective pieces written on the subject to date. Check out the full Internet Gaming Report here.

Mrs. Schneider is the founder of IGamingNews and former chief executive of River City Group. She now consults for Clarion Gaming and contributes regularly to IGamingNews.