A State Senator from New York has voiced concerns regarding the legalization of online gambling in the neighboring states of New Jersey and Delaware, stating that he believes it could lead to illegal gambling within the Empire State.
Senator Tim Kennedy (D)- Buffalo, voiced his concerns through a statement he released last week. In that statement, Kennedy said that he fears customers in New York will be able to access the betting sites through middle men who will set up "virtual private networks" which will allow users to mask their locations.
"New Jersey, Nevada and Delaware's recent legalization of online gaming is raising red flags for states across the country that want to ensure the industry is regulated to protect consumers," the Senator wrote.
Kennedy also wrote about how he believes that online betting firms are corrupt, claiming: These sites are stacking the deck and consumers are losing - and losing big. We need to prevent these bad actors from getting a license to behave this way anywhere in the country."
"Enforcing regulations against illegal online gambling was typically the role of the FBI, but in 2011 the U.S. Department of Justice reversed its long-held opposition to many forms of internet gambling, leaving the decision and much of the regulatory power up to the states."
"Now that states are legalizing or looking to legalize online gaming across the country, New York will have to come up with ways to protect consumers from the many bad actors out there."
"The New York State Gaming Commission should investigate the proliferation of illegal or predatory sites as online gambling becomes legal in neighboring states."
“Every dollar spent on gambling online illegally is lost revenue for (land) casinos in Buffalo and Niagara Falls, which employ thousands of Western New Yorkers."
Kennedy then goes on to point a finger at offshore operators, and how he thinks they are acting in an inappropriate manner. "Another large player in the online gaming industry is 888.com, which has been operating from off-shore locations for years, has a history of taking illegal bets and offering no protection for minors and other individuals who would be harmed by online gambling. Some of these sites could be pushing for licensing in states like New Jersey, who are now offering legalized online gaming."
The statement by the Senator does not include any hard evidence to back up his claims, but the statement does show the large hurdles that internet betting will have to clear in order to become fully legalized in the United States.