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Harra supports online legislation

Casino giant Harrer Entertainment on Wednesday introduced a bill that would allow individuals to gamble on the internet in the U.S., which could open up a whole new market for owners of the Poker World Series.

The 2009 Internet Gambling Regulation, Consumer Protection and Enforcement Act, introduced by Democratic Rep. Barney Frank on Wednesday, is to establish a framework that allows licensed gambling operators to gamble in the United States. The legislation provides safeguards against compulsory and underage gambling, money laundering, fraud and identity theft.

“We really believe that this industry already exists,” said Jan Jones, senior vice president of communications and government relations at Harah’s Entertainment. “It just exists in the Wild West environment. If you’re protecting children and saying you’re interested in fraud and money laundering, the only way to enforce those protections is to create a strong regulatory framework.”

The casino company spent $405,087 in the first quarter and registered as a lobbyist to build support for the new offer.

Harra’s Entertainment also hired Tony Podesta, a longtime Democratic fundraiser who has lobbied for Walmart and Sally May, and his brother John Podesta, an adviser to President Barack Obama.

Jones said Americans already spend $6 billion annually on gambling in an unregulated online environment. 안전한 파워볼사이트

The bill will enact regulations that will be implemented by the U.S. Treasury Department. The federal department will also issue licenses to Internet gambling operators.

Frank’s bill was co-sponsored by Shelley Buckley, D-Nev., a district that includes Clark County.

It will repeal the 2006 Illegal Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, which criminalized banks or other institutions from handling financial transactions used to place illegal bets online.

The Bush administration implemented the restrictions, which are scheduled to take effect on Dec. 1, to enforce the ban on banking.

A separate bill introduced by Frank on Wednesday would delay the entry into force of these regulations.

“What we have now is an unfeasible law passed by opponents of every game, whether it’s Las Vegas adults or online,” Buckley said in a statement. “So there’s no question that we should act to correct the problems caused by this failed drive to ban internet gaming.”

Similar legislation failed in the last Parliament.

MGM Mirage has expressed support for legalizing, regulating and taxing internet gambling, but company executives have warned it has not read Frank’s new legislation to see if it is the right one to support.

Alan Feldman, MGM Mirage’s senior vice president of public relations, said the 2006 law passed without a hearing was a bad law.

“The original ban was really outrageous and outrageous,” Feldman said.

Poker Players Alliance, led by Youbet.com and former Senator Alphonse Damato, is also lobbying for legalization of online gambling.

Not all supporters of online gaming have expressed comprehensive support for the new legislation.

David G. Schwartz of the University of Nevada, the director of the Center for Gaming Research in Las Vegas, expressed concern about having the federal government oversee the gaming industry. He said the new proposal would establish what he describes as basically a Federal Gaming Control Board.

“This is contrary to 220 years of interpreting the constitution that states have the right to regulate gaming, which the federal government will regulate gambling,” Schwartz said. “This appears to promote an overly complicated bureaucracy for the gaming industry.”

Jones said he supports Hara’s federal oversight role because regulating online gambling at the state level is nearly impossible.

“The essence of internet gaming is that people can play games all over the world,” Jones said. “It makes a lot more sense to have federal regulatory oversight with state approval that this bill provides.”

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