Former Senator Lashes Out at Predatory Online Gaming Industry

August 23rd, 2018 | by Kaycee James

Online gaming operators engage in “predatory practices” and are a greater threat than terrorism according to a former US Senator from Arkansas, Blanche Lincoln.

 Blanche Lincoln.

Former US Senator Blanche Lincoln has penned an article suggesting online gaming operators are a risk to children. (Image:

Airing her opinion in on op-ed for the Financial Times, Lincoln said that intrastate regulations go against decades of legal precedents and, in some respects, are a bigger problem than terrorism.

Backing up her claims, the member of the Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling referred to the FBI’s 2017 Internet Crime Report to insinuate.

The FBI’s 2017 Internet Crime Report revealed that the victim count and financial losses suffered as a result of online gambling surpassed that of terrorism-related cybercrimes last year,” wrote in the August 19 Financial Times article.

Lincoln Ignores the Wider Context

Doubling down, the former Senator who backed the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 (UIGEA) said that she is “tremendously concerned” about the rise of online gaming in the US. Despite her concerns, “gambling” was 31st on a list of 33 online threats by victim count.

Looking at the numbers, gambling had a victim count of 203, which was one place ahead of terrorism with 177. To put the figures into perspective, the victim count for credit card fraud was 15,220, while personal data breaches was 30,904.

As the latest anti-online gaming advocate looks to push back against the industry, Pennsylvania has licensed its first three operators. Announcing the news on August 15, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board approved the applications of Parx Casino, Harrah’s Philadelphia Casino & Racetrack, and Mount Airy Casino Resort.

In addition to those licensed on August 15, the state will now consider eight applications before reopening up the ballot in September for more casinos to join the mix.

Pennsylvania to Further Promote Regulated Gaming

Although the state regulator still has to review each operator’s internal controls and software, online gaming in Pennsylvania is now within reach. While it’s unclear how lucrative the industry will be, the state has already collected more than $100 million in license fees.

That figure has already exceeded budget expectations and when the industry is finally up and running, liquidity sharing could quickly become the next area of exploration.

Looking at the bigger picture, the successful implementation of online gaming in Pennsylvania will be yet another counter to the views of people like Lincoln. As regulation continues to prove both profitable and safe, more states can look beyond the opinions and towards the facts about the online gaming industry.


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