The Chief Executive Officer of Caesars Entertainment Corporation, Gary Loveman, has come out publicly to call for the proper regulation of online poker in the United States, following the indictment of top poker sites on April 15th. Loveman is the first executive of a big firm to comment on the indictments, barring Steve Wynn’s hasty announcement that he was cutting ties with Poker Stars and voiding a recent deal signed between the two.
In an opinion piece written for CNN, Loveman said that there was a desperate need for a legalized framework to govern online poker in the United States. The piece, entitled: Online Poker: Legalize it! has Loveman writing: “The question we face isn’t ‘will there be online poker?’ Millions of Americans have already answered that question through their regular play, and the latest indictments won’t change that. In fact, less than 24 hours after the three poker sites were closed, other foreign operators began filling the void.”
“Instead,” wrote Loveman, “the question is this: ‘Should we seize the moment to legalize online poker, permit a safe and legitimate industry in the US and bring those jobs and revenues home?’ Unequivocally, the answer is yes.”
Loveman goes on to explain that there is “considerable sentiment” to repeal the UIGEA. As such, he suggests the introduction of “sensible legislation” to provide regulatory oversight in order to protect players from cheating and fraud. The proposed legislation will make operators work with law enforcement agencies, control problem gambling and prevent under-age gambling.
“One day, we’ll look back at 2011 and laugh at the folly of a ban on internet poker – just like we now think about Prohibition,” writes Loveman. “The sooner that day comes, the better.”