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Minnesota Is Educated, And Gives Up Fight Against Online Gambling

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The state of Minnesota went into their battle against online gambling with a sole purpose in mind, make sure that their residents are protected against the dangers that exist within Internet gambling. They came out of the process understanding that legalized online gambling and regulation are necessary.

"The action raised awareness of the broader issue about who is policing the Internet and protecting the consumer," said Andy Skoogman, a spokesman for the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, "At this point, we don't feel there is anybody. This is an issue that every state is going to face sooner rather than later."

It has been Representative Barney Frank's contention since the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act was passed, that people in the US need regulation, not criminalization, in regards to Internet gambling.

The Interactive Media Entertainment and Gaming Association has been trying to spread the word and has done plenty of lobbying to ensure that lawmakers know about the dangers that exist with an unregulated online gambling industry. Their work in Minnesota has apparently convinced regulators in the state that regulation is indeed needed.

"I believe it may be more appropriate to resolve this problem by working to create clear and effective government policies concerning regulation of gambling," said John Willems, a member of the Minnesota state Alcohol and Gambling Enforcement Division, in a letter informing Internet service providers of the state's decision.

Now that the first state has seen the light, the dominoes may begin to fall. The Poker Players Alliance is another group that has been working feverishly to spread the word about Internet freedom when it comes to gambling. The PPA has over one million members, consisting of poker players from around the US.

Representative Frank has proposed two Bills that would change the landscape of Internet gambling in the country. The first would stop the rules from the UIGEA from taking effect in December. The second provides the framework for a regulated Internet gambling industry in the US.

Minnesota lawmakers have seen the light, and that is a start. The question remains, however. How many more politicians will open their minds to the possibility that they may have been wrong about Internet gambling, and the safest way to protect the people they represent from the dangers of online gambling that exist today.

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