The regulated online poker industry in the United States has found itself in the unenviable role of being a piñata for Sheldon Adelson, his Coalition to Stop Internet Gaming, and anyone else with a fiscal or moral ax to grind against regulated online gaming.
These naysayers usually take their potshots, and aside from columnists and iGaming advocates, the regulated online gaming industry never hits back.
One person who threw a few blows recently was Lyle Beckwith, the vice president of government relations for the National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS).
Beckwith penned an op-ed that graced the cyber pages of Roll Call several weeks back in which he condemned legalized online gaming (in particular, the sale of lottery tickets online) and offered up several unverified and untested accusations about the safety of the industry.
In particular, he came out against the technology in place that denies minors and out-of-state players access to these regulated sites.
This op-ed may have been the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back, as a rebuttal by GeoComply CEO Anna Sainsbury appeared in Roll Call last Thursday.
Sainsbury needed 98 words to shoot down Beckwith’s claims
“As a licensed geolocation provider in these three states, I can assure you that, in fact, these regulators literally ran thousands and thousands of tests outside of their own states’ boundaries, attempting to use all the spoofing techniques alluded to by Beckwith (and many more) in order to ensure the location results we provide are the correct ones and that their neighbors’ sovereignty over gaming was respected.
Indeed, the regulators sent letters to their colleagues in neighboring states setting out the measures to ensure proper geo-location and inviting them to audit for themselves the sufficiency of the safeguards.”
In this single paragraph Sainsbury points out the fatal flaw in Beckwith’s argument. He claims these safeguards don’t work, but never bothers to actually prove it by logging on.
Not only did the regulators audit these systems, but as Sainsbury notes, so did three independent labs: GLI, BMM and NMi.
“Geolocation is one problem you can take off your sleepless night list!” Sainsbury concluded.
A real online gambling expert chimes in
The debate over online gambling in the U.S. has raged for the past year and a half, and in that time the bulk of the fighting has been handled by iGaming columnists, pundits, and lobbyists. So it’s refreshing to see someone with real-world expertise and experience refute these claims.
Sainsbury is routinely invited by state legislatures to offer expert testimony on geolocation technology. She is also a regular attendee and speaker at gaming conferences, and her real-time demonstrations of geolocation technology have made more jaws hit the floor than Kate Upton in a bikini.
The chances of Beckwith or anyone else refuting Sainsbury’s assertions are about as good as me logging into a regulated New Jersey online poker room from my home in Massachusetts.
You have the ability to prove your theories
If Lyle Beckwith, Sheldon Adelson, Jason Chaffetz, or any other iGaming critic is so certain online gambling is uncontrollable – the Wild Wild West, I believe they call it – they have the opportunity to prove it.
New Jersey, Delaware and Nevada are real world laboratories where they could test all of their theories instead of just speculating what “might” happen.
If minors can get around the technology, why not trot out a 15 year old and have him do it?
If you can fake your location and play at a New Jersey online gaming site from another site why not do it?
One real-time demonstration of this sort would be game, set, match for them.
So why don’t they do it?
Is the real reason they stop short of actually proving any of their claims, because they know any reasonable attempt to circumvent the technology wouldn’t work?
Sainsbury is confident enough in the technology her company employs to invite these critics to see it firsthand.
“I welcome you to visit our state of the art monitoring facilities in New Jersey or Nevada where we can show you what we do,” Sainsbury said.
It’s doubtful anyone will take her up on the offer.
Image Artemiy Bogdanoff / Shutterstock.com