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Report of the Law Reform Committee on Online Gaming and Singapore

money for bet on the one hand, which is most probably gambling, compared to a game of skill not involving money on the other, which is most probably gaming, we see that the existing types of game, both online and offline, are myriad.

(3) basis?83 What is the US federal approach to regulation and what is the underlying policy


The US federal approach has been a prohibitory one, mainly guided by the

concerns of money laundering and protection of revenue. Yet it remains largely under the control of state laws. Table 1 encapsulates the general guiding factors for US policy

and law approach in this area.

Table 1 Underlying Concerns84

For Prohibiting or Restricting

  • Potential for fraud over the Internet

  • Protect minors from gambling sites

  • Protect against gambling addictions

  • Need to preserve revenues generated from

lawful state-run gambling operations

For Facilitating or Sanctioning

  • Drive network development

  • Provide an alternative for consumers

  • Increase competition in gambling services


Who are the parties involved in the process of gambling and what are their

liabilities and responsibilities?



The US approach seems to place the direct onus on the facilitators of online

gambling websites, in particular the financial services sector and advertisers,86 which have an impact on the operators that are largely based abroad. The players are not

generally targeted for any form of sanctions or responsibility under US legislation.


Financial services bear the main responsibility under US federal legislation as

will be seen below. As for advertisers, due to the position taken by the US Department of Justice that the Wire Act relating to telephone betting applies to Internet gambling, and that advertising such activities may be considered aiding and abetting, Google and Yahoo!, the big players in the search engine business have in 2004 announced their


Lisa Lester, “Beating the Odds: Regulation of Online Gaming Stateside and Abroad” (2008) 28 J Nat’l Ass’n L Jud 621. See also, http://newsblaze.com/story/2009070803505600001.acn/topstory.html.


Andrea M Lessani, “How Much Do You Want To Bet that the Internet Gambling Prohibition Act of 1997 Is Not the Most Effective Way to Tackle the Problems of Online Gambling?” (1998) The UCLA Online Institute for Cyberspace Law and Policy Archive, available at http://www.gseis.ucla.edu/iclp/alessani.html.


Mia Garlick, “Player, Pirate or Conducer? A Consideration of the Rights of Online Gamers” (2005) 7 Yale J L & Tech 422.


Daniela Rosette, “The Application of Real World Rules to Banks in Online Games and Virtual Worlds” (2008) 16 U Miami Bus L Rev 279 and Megan E Frese, “Rolling the Dice: Are Online Gambling Advertisers ‘Aiding and Abetting’ Criminal Activity or Exercising First Amendment-Protected Commercial Speech?” (2005) 15 Fordham Intell Prop Media & Ent LJ 547.


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