The Fraternal Order of the Police, which is lobbying Congress on behalf of 330,000 law enforcement officers, sent a letter to US Senate leadership online casino software and the House of Representatives last week asking for federal action to create a firm regulatory framework for legal Internet gaming to The American protect consumers and ensure law enforcement of the tools needed to remove offshore locations from the market.
The letter was signed by FOP President Chuck Canterbury and addressed to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, President of the House John Boehner and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.
At first glance, the letter does not seem so important to be the cause of officially legalizing online poker. Nowhere does the letter explicitly online casino software mention poker. The FOP seems to be more interested in closing off alleged illegal offshore poker sites still serving the US
However, regardless of whether the FOP interests precisely align with players, the letter is a valuable chip for the movement.
As Canterbury mentions in the letter, the FOP supported adoption of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act in 2006. Now the FOP realizes that millions of Americans want to play online poker, and that if it is not regulated in the US, they will just play at offshore locations beyond the reach of the federal government.
“Today, there are no controls on Internet gambling to give US consumers recourse to US courts to provide prompt and accurate payments; no protections are in place to prevent or detect money laundering; no firm and transparent licensing or operators exists; and no regulatory controls are in place to prevent criminals from entering online casino software the marketplace, rigging games, or misusing customer financial data, ”Canterbury wrote. “This has created a situation in which US law enforcement authorities cannot shut down illegal activity, nor is there any way for those victimized by fraud or other criminal acts to seek redress.”
For legislation to pass licensing and regulating internet poker through Congress, many policy makers who voted in favor of the UIGEA will have to support sanctioning one of the most important forms of online gambling.
Nobody in politics wants to be called a flip-flopper. By establishing its belief that supporting online gambling regulation is a logical follow-up to online casino software supporting the UIGEA, the FOP is setting an important precedent.
It is also clear from the statement that the FOP is aware of the damage to American consumers taken from previously trusted websites, such as Full Tilt Poker, and sees it as a reason regulation is needed.
As the largest union of police officers in the country, the FOP has significant influence both in political parties. The Poker Players Alliance was particularly pleased to have FOP as an ally.
“The simple truth is the status quo is not working,” said PPA director John Pappas. “Even our law enforcement officials recognize that regulation online casino software is the only way we can protect US consumers and ensure their basic rights are upheld. We are proud to have the FOP join our efforts to ensure a safe and regulated online poker market for all Americans. ”