In a complete 180 degree turn the AGA (American Gaming Association) have stated that they can longer support regulate online gaming in the US. The statement was made by the AGA CEO Geoff Freeman and comes but a few short months after he testified in front of lawmakers that online gambling in the United States should be regulated. This is a massive turnaround from the AGA and gives yet more weight to the campaign against online gaming that’s being funded by Sands Casinos owner Sheldon Anderson, with Freeman stating that, “One of the things I’ve learned in this industry is we are extraordinarily competent at shooting at one another, the snipers in this industry are of the highest quality, and if you let that be the focus, we’ll kill each other.”
Almost all of the large US casino companies are members of the AGA, the likes of Caesar’s, MGM Resorts and Boyd Gaming with Sands being their only member that is against regulated online gambling of the kind that is currently available in New Jersey, Nevada and Delaware, and Anderson is looking for a way to stop further states becoming involved with a block at federal level. If he succeeds it could also see those three states offering online gaming to cease that offer. Just a short time ago the AGA was regulated gamings most powerful ally in Washington and in fact was working with MGM Resorts to put a stop to Andersons bill against online poker and casinos, with Freeman at the time stating that, “This new entity is dedicated to creating a regulated Internet gaming marketplace and preventing a federal ban of online gaming, The coalition will operate exclusively at the federal level, encouraging Congress to embrace regulation as the best means to protect minors, detect money launderers and eliminate a dangerous black market.”
It’s thought that the decision by the AGA will have no impact on Andersons proposed legislation that would ban online gambling altogether, and that any bill that attempts to take the decision to offer gambling online away from individual states is an extremely long shot, still, stranger things have happened, and losing the support of the AGA means that supporters of regulated online gambling and those against Andersons bill have lost a very strong voice on Capitol Hill.