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WiredSafety Tells US House Online Gambling Regulation Needed

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During testimony today before the House Financial Services Committee, Parry Aftab, the executive diector of WiredSafety, told congressmen that US consumers are unprotected by current attempts to ban online gambling, and that only regulation of the gaming industry offers Internet safety to US residents. WiredSafety is an organization dedicated to protecting Internet users from fraud, cyber harassment, and child exposure to inappropriate sites.

Aftab presented statistics to the Committee showing that the ban on Internet gambling has not even slowed, let alone stopped, US residents from playing at online casinos. He referred to surveys showing that as many as 300,000 US youth gamble online at least once a week, with that number doubling for once a month.

"Without regulations to handle underage gambling, addictive gambling, fraud, collusion, malware and malicious code, privacy and data protection, criminal involvement, disputes and online security threats, consumers and families are on their own," stated Aftab.

"The unintended but inevitable result of the current U.S. legal approach to internet gambling is to force millions of American consumers to offshore sites out of the reach of U.S. courts and regulators and exposing U.S. citizens to significant risks without legal recourse."

Aftab went on to say the US is currently facing all the social costs gambling foes fear, without the benefits of control and regulation, including consumer protection. He advocates using well designed regulation with technology to allow safe online gaming sites to US players.

Aftab admitted no system would be foolproof, but argued regulation would be far more effective and responsive than any prohibition of Internet casinos.

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