The effects of legalized online gambling in neighboring states of Delaware and New Jersey have New York State Senator Tim Kennedy, a Democrat from Buffalo, quite concerned, as he believes such legalization in individual states across the United States could lead to increased illegal and predatory gambling activity in New York State.
Namely, he stated that "New Jersey, Nevada and Delaware's recent legalisation of online gaming is raising red flags for states across the country that want to ensure the industry is regulated to protect consumers,” using the occasion to calling on the New York State Gaming Commission to investigate illegal online gambling and protect New Yorkers.
And since New York State is currently unable regulate the companies that are licensed in New Jersey, Kennedy expressed concern that this will not prevent these sites from accessing New York punters via illegal middle-men who can set up "virtual private networks" to host "online casinos" in New York State.
"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," he expressed his bad opinion of online gambling operators, adding:
"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," Kennedy observes.
"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."
Referring to online poker's Black Friday and the federal indictment and criminal allegations that flowed from that event in his statement, he also underlined: "Another large player in the online gaming industry is 888, 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."