Can AGA’s Code of Conduct Save Online Poker?
The American Gaming Association (AGA) has been fighting to legalize online poker in the U.S. as you may have read in yesterday’s post about the group’s Wild West-themed YouTube video supporting the movement. The lobbying group has stood by the principle that legalizing poker will create a safer environment for players, and is adamant about making both lawmakers and online gambling companies accountable.
This week, the AGA released a code of conduct for these companies to abide by in hopes that it will provide a safe environment for online poker players .
Six Points of the AGA Code of Conduct
- 1. Submit to government investigations. Although the AGA wants lawmakers to legalize online poker, it wants poker sites to respect the laws of their jurisdictions. This includes submitting to any background checks of the company or the personnel running it.
- 2. Properly identify every poker player. The AGA says every poker player should be clearly identified. Poker companies should make sure they are of legal age and can be tracked to prevent fraud.
- 3. Submit to software audits. The companies should allow their software to be tested. This will assure authorities and players that the games haven’t been rigged and everyone has an equal chance of winning.
- 4. Implement exclusion processes. These processes must ensure no one will be allowed to play illegally. This includes both minors and anyone in the U.S. who isn’t legally allowed to play.
- 5. Provide services for responsible gambling. The AGA feels that companies should provide services to help players play responsibly, which includes providing links to sites that assist people who have gambling problems and track their gambling history on the site. This will help players identify if they have a problem that needs to be resolved.
- 6. Create a system to prevent money-laundering. The AGA’s final point is to make sure there is a system on each website to make sure money laundering will not take place on the site. These policies will ensure the site is in full compliance with federal anti-money laundering laws.
The AGA may have an easier time making an argument for legalizing online poker to authorities if the group can show it is serious about fighting fraud and underage gambling. The code of conduct they just introduced may do that, but the more difficult part will be making sure players and companies are doing their parts, too.
What do you think of the AGA’s code of conduct? Share your thoughts in the forums.