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Prominent Republicans Form New Group To Protect Regulated Online Gambling

Factions fighting a battle
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An advocacy group featuring some marquee Republican names is positioning itself as a counterweight to the Sheldon Adelson-backed Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling (CSIG).

That group – the Coalition for Consumer and Online Protection (C4COP) – counts among its members GOP well-knowns such as former California Representative Mary Bono and Mike Oxley, who represented Ohio in the House for over 25 years.

According to a statement released by C4COP, the group “represents the voice of public-­‐safety advocates, business leaders, technology leaders, state-­‐ and federal-­‐elected officials, the gaming industry, and the millions of Americans who would be adversely affected by a ban” on regulated online gambling.

Such a ban would, the group asserts, “would jeopardize consumer safety, allow for the existing overseas black market to thrive, stifle innovation and growth, and infringe on individuals’ and states’ rights.”

Group stands in direct opposition to CSIG

Adelson’s CSIG has been pressing for a federal ban on Internet gambling via an update to the Wire Act, with mixed results to date.

The group has also published op-eds in The Hill and USA Today to make its case for rolling back an activity already legal in several states, including New Jersey and Nevada.

Opening salvos

“An across the board federal ban on online gaming would have unintended negative effects for Americans by encouraging illegal online gambling and bolstering the current black market,” argued former Ohio Congressman Mike Oxley in the C4COP statement.

“Millions of Americans are currently engaged in online gaming. A congressional ban would essentially ensure they are playing on an unsafe black market without the strong consumer protections that all Americans deserve.

Mary Bono echoed Oxley’s position, asserting that “Congress can neither legislate the Internet away, nor consumer demand for online products. We need to do all we can to make sure that the Internet is a safe place for businesses, consumers, families and children. I am proud to be a part of the Coalition for Consumer and Online Protection to make sure that people know the risks behind implementing such a ban.”

Read more at C4COP.com.

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Chris Grove
- Chris is the publisher of OnlinePokerReport.com. Grove also serves as a consultant to various stakeholders in the regulated market for online gambling in the United States.