Sun International – Sun International Hotels Limited and Station Casinos, Inc. today announced that Station will purchase a 50% interest in SunOnline Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sun.
Each company will have equal board representation and SunOnline will be the exclusive vehicle for both Sun and Station to pursue the Internet wagering business.
In September 2001, SunOnline was awarded one of the first three online gaming licenses granted by the Isle of Man. In December 2001, SunOnline became the first Isle of Man licensee to commence operations when it launched CasinoAtlantis.com, its Internet wagering site.
The site, operated under strict Isle of Man regulations, prohibits wagering from jurisdictions that do not permit Internet wagering, including the United States.
“Our strategy for the Internet gaming business is threefold: (1) create a convenient and entertaining wagering experience; (2) market the credibility of our land based operations; and (3) maintain the highest level of regulatory compliance. Sun has the same objectives,” stated Lorenzo Fertitta, President of Station.
“The combination of Station and Sun will bring together complementary skills in both operating and marketing this business.”
“We are very pleased to have Station as our partner in this business. Joining forces with Station enhances our effort to develop an outstanding Internet gaming platform,” stated Butch Kerzner, President of Sun.
The purchase price will approximate $5 million. The transaction is subject to certain conditions, including Isle of Man regulatory approval, and is expected to close by the third quarter of calendar 2002.
Because the venture is in its early stages, the companies have determined it is too early to provide any guidance regarding projected operating results.
Would Someone Please Deal with the Real Problem?
Several U.S. legislators have made it their mission to protect the world from online Togel Singapore gambling, and they aren’t going to stop until they get their way. But most of what’s coming out of Washington these days is a smoke-and-mirrors show, rather than an effort to deal with the underlying problem.
Rep. James Leach (R-Iowa) last week sent out a letter to members of the U.S. House of Representatives asking them to co-sponsor his anti-gambling bill. Two other Internet wagering opponents, Rep. Michael Oxley, R-Ohio and Rep. John LaFalce, D-N.Y, also signed the letter, dated February 5.
H.R. 556, or the ‘Unlawful Internet Gambling Funding Prohibition Act,’ failed to pass when it was originally introduced on February 12, 2001, but it resurfaced last fall after Leach persuaded Oxley to include it in the Financial Anti-Terrorism Act of 2001.
That attempt to sneak the legislation in through the back door failed when people figured out that online gambling didn’t really have much to do with terrorists.
But that didn’t stop Leach. Neither did Bob Goodlatte’s decision to reintroduce his own Net wagering prohibition bill on November 1, 2001. That bill would update the Wire Act of 1961 to make it illegal to place a bet online.
Leach is pushing members of the House to support his bill over Goodlatte’s, suggesting that it offers a better way to deal with the ‘problems’ of Internet gambling.
The second sentence in the letter states that online gambling “is fast becoming one of the most critical issues confronting thousands of American families.” It also notes that H.R. 556 utilizes recommendations from the National Gambling Impact Study of 1999 and that it is favored by the Christian Coalition and the NCAA.
According to the actual language of the bill, however, it is designed to safeguard financial institutions from online gamblers who are defaulting on their credit card debts and to eliminate offshore money laundering operations. There is no mention of the social costs in the text of the bill.
So why, then, is Leach talking about safeguarding the family now when the bill says virtually nothing about the family and a whole lot about “debt collection problems for insured depository institutions?”
That’s a tough question to answer, but one way to drum up support for floundering causes is to play on people’s emotions. Regardless of what Leach’s objectives were when he introduced the bill and what they are now, neither deal with the real problem here.
The reason why they don’t is because opponents of online gambling don’t seem to understand what the problem is. It isn’t people using their credit cards to gamble online, it’s the fact that some people are addicted to gambling. And a very small percentage of these people happen to gamble online.
If online gambling really is a problem for credit card companies as Leach suggests, let them deal with it. Visa has already taken steps to monitor traffic at online casinos, and Discover and American Express stopped processing Internet gambling transactions a while ago. I find it a little hard to believe that companies making several billion dollars a year need Congress to save them from the average consumer. That’s what lawyers are for.
Outlawing financial transactions at online casinos won’t save the American family, just as shutting down liquor stores won’t stop people from being alcoholics. Alcoholics need help, and so do problem gamblers. And that should be the objective here – getting help for the people who need help – not pulling the plug on the party for everyone else.