tv Online Gaming CSPAN December 16, 2013 4:15am-6:01am EST
if you choose to say, i want to go against the best bot in the world, more power to you, but you should get to know that that's what you're doing. now, there was a poker bot ring in sweden in the last year that as far as i can tell from the news, one -- like $1 million or more in just a couple months. if bots are strong enough to do that, they are a significant threat, and we have to address that problem. bot makers are getting better all the time. there is a bot playing limit texas hold 'em that according to "the new york times" can beat most people in the world. there is a new company that says they designed a neuro network bot that can play no limit texas hold 'em as well as most people. and so as computers get better,
as neuro networks get better, making bots is going to get easier and easier and the day will come when some kid in their garage with a high-powered computer can make a bot that can defeat most human players. it will be a challenge to stop that, and if we can't stop that, we have to give players some defense so that they know if they're playing a bot or if they're playing somebody who plays abnormally well like a bot might, and so i ask we have ratings for poker players so you can tell when you're facing a much, much better player that might well be a bot. a third important aspect of consumer protection is giving players the power to self- exclude and to limit their play, either by the day, week or month, by how long they play or how much they bet, and give them this kind of protection so they can control their betting. it's a consumer industry.
consumers should be empowered to make good decisions. and so the industry should give them the tools they need to make good decisions. in my testimony, i talk a lot about what the different states have done and what congressman barton's bill has done and i'd be happy to answer questions about that further. but, again, i thank you for allowing me to testify. >> well, thank you for your return performance. sticking with kind of a show theme. now it's time to begin our questions. my first one -- because you're a law professor, i want to ask you this -- >> guilty as charged. >> this is a d.o.j. opinion about the wire act. people tell me it's the law. can you work us through as quickly as you can as a law professor, is that the law?
>> well, the law is what the courts and the people enforcing the laws say it is to some extent. >> good point. >> i think it's a valid interpretation of the law. the d.o.j.'s position, i think, you can make a strong argument that it's the correct one. so it isn't the law itself, but it's not a horrible misinterpretation of the law. >> what happens if new jersey or nevada or texas goes forward and there's a new administration next year -- a couple years -- or there will be -- and the d.o.j. goes back to the previous four administrations' interpretations of the wire act? >> then you would have an interesting battle between the states, which i think at that point would be loathe to give up their flourishing internet
industry, and they and the d.o.j. would have to fight it out in the courts. ultimately the courts would determine who is correct. >> and that would be a ripe one for the supreme court to probably take up on a fast track. >> i would think so. i would think so. >> legally, it's just very interesting. as a former lawyer, those are the type of issues that kind of get my attention but also as a father, they get my attention, and probably starting at about 8, my kids became pretty savvy shoppers with my credit card online. in fact, there was the point where i said, you go to the website and do it yourself. >> add to cart. >> at to cart. on dad's credit card which they think is theirs. and so in fact, they -- at least for their lacrosse equipment, does that all the time. my card's already in there. and so they get their new set of
lacrosse gloves or pads or whatever and then the next day i open up my email and see the receipt and then call them and say what the heck did you do. but, mr. abboud, and then to mr. pappas as well, how do we prevent the children who, as mr. abboud said and when you said that it hit right at home, how do we really know if a minor's playing if they're using dad's credit card or mom's, and how do we prevent that? mr. abboud first. >> don't legalize it. >> ok. >> mr. pappas. >> shut down illegal operators that are operating today. you can get into a long technological discussion about whether you can or can't prevent minors from getting involved. i think some people believe you can. some people believe you can't. i've seen the technological
demonstrations. i think they are a barrier to market. i think when they go through all that, if you don't shut down the illegal sites, that's where they'll end up. when you speak to children, with respect to congressman barton, whom i have tremendous respect for, and for mr. pappas to my left, i think their intentions about poker are very clear. but i don't think that's the intent of the legalization of online gaming. i think that the unclear nature of what the wire act means was hopefully congress would take action. and i think that using the poker analogy, for the industry to go state by state, particularly in nevada, to try and scare congress into acting was probably the worst bluff in the history of poker. in nevada almost shamefully they rushed it through the legislature with an emergency
declaration, passed unanimously by both houses, we need to pass this poker bill now. we need to set the precedent. it's just poker. it's just poker. it's just poker. nine months later it turns out it wasn't just poker. they have the ability without the act of the legislature to do full online gaming because it wasn't sustainable. poker is not a sustainable market. it's fine if people want to play poker online. if it's safe they can probably do it. but it's about this. it's about slot machines geared towards children. marvel comics, iron man, kitty slots. this stuff is not what we're about. that is where the industry is going to go. unless we shut down those illegal sites and unless we restore the wire act -- >> i want to save some time for mr. pappas on that. by the way, when i got on one of my ipads, they did download an app for slots.
i deleted it. it wasn't gambling. just a regular app. mr. pappas. >> i appreciate the opportunity to respond. i think it's important that we recognize that age verification technology exists, not only in internet gaming, but all forms of ecommerce when age is restricted. when you talk about children buying lacrosse products, that wasn't age restricted product. there was not a system in place for them to make that purchase. if a person wants to make a deposit on a -- internet gaming website, they would have to go through tremendous and rigorous levels in order to be able to make that deposit, proving they are not only who they are, saying who they are, this is john pappas depositing but that john pappas is actually 21 years of age. as i mentioned in my testimony, underage access in nevada, where this has been going on since april, has been zero. there is not one report of underage access -- >> how do you know, though? that's one of the questions i
have. how do you know, though? >> because regulators actively seek to try to get on the sites themselves. and if there was a parent or a child was able to access a site, and i suspect if they lost money on that site, the parent would have to report that to the authorities, to the regulators as well as to the credit agencies. and they would either get a refund for the money. none of that has been recorded. if you look at the european experience, which has been going on for a decade, the internet safety notified the european commission that since 2007 they have not been made aware of a single instance where a child has beaten the system and gotten online to gamble. the fact is age verification is here. it's working very effectively today. i welcome any way we can improve it to ensure that children don't have access to these sites because i think that's extremely important. i will say it's been working very effectively already. >> thank you. my time is up.
now the ranking member of the committee, you're recognized for five minutes for your questions. >> well, first of all, let me congratulate the panel. every one of you. i found i saw nodding as the arguments are compelling. but mr. abboud, you gave very passionate testimony, i think, but i know that -- i just want to mention this that the venetian casino is owned and operated by sands. mr. sheldon addelson, and there's actually promotion of mobile casino wagering. a direct quote from the venetian, quote, is there anything you can't do on a smartphone or tablet nowadays? mobile casino gambling is available to you on property during your stay and you can even play from your room. that's one quote. and the other is, also promote on their website, a mobile sports betting app for smartphones, tablets and p.c.'s, and they tout that the app,
quote, allows you to wager anywhere in nevada. which is not a far cry from anywhere in the united states. so i just want to say that, you know, there's a little -- feels to me a little hypocritical. but having said that, i wanted to ask about mr. eggert, the consumer protections. do you feel that it is possible to make sure that the consumer protections are built into legislation sufficiently to protect people from the potential abuses of online gambling? >> i think there are good consumer protection devices that can be built in. i'm not sure if you can ever have a perfect system. i think the problem of poker bots is going to be a difficult
one. and i don't know that there is a good consumer protection solution to bots. but i think for slot machines, we can certainly have better protection than we have in almost anyplace in the country. specifically better information about hold percentages. and i think you can also design good methods for people to control their gambling that should be hard wired into it so we can do a lot better, but i don't think you can have a perfect system. >> i also wanted to ask about, again -- was it mr. abboud talking about it's public policy, were you the one talking about how now we've turned gambling -- that was you, mr. bernal. here's the thing. we're sold -- i was in the state legislature. we're often sold the lottery and other kinds of gambling revenue
as helping our schools and -- in illinois, supposedly, for education. i know that for a time it really displaced money that would ordinarily go from the general revenue fund to education. i think that was corrected now in illinois. but what is the history of that? do these revenues, which are significant, actually help us to fund the needed priorities for our governments? >> without question, the answer to that it has failed to produce revenues that they promised. you can't -- no one can name a state in this country where -- georgia to washington state where people have said, you know, in georgia they're going to fund scholarships through their lottery. in the end what we see happening is low-income people losing money to pay for middle-class kids go to college. and now that revenue hasn't sustained itself so now they're going to turn to slots in georgia.
>> have their actually been studies that would show us? do we have studies? >> the rockefeller institute in albany, suny university, has done a great job. more than any other entity out there. has done a great breakdown, the fact that gambling is not a sustainable revenue source from a governmental standpoint. >> and dr. volberg, mr. bernal also cited some studies about the amount of revenue that comes from problem gamblers. is there a way, do you think, that would actually work that could address that problem? >> yeah. >> microphone. >> sorry. the issue of the proportion of revenues that come from problem gamblers has been a contentious one. and mr. bernal's testimony lists quite a number of different studies that have been done, but
the challenge is that the ratios are different in different jurisdictions. so the industry's approach to trying to address the issue of how much they depend on problem gamblers is -- has been to try to expand the pool of people who gamble occasionally so that you have less people who are problem who are -- more people who are contributing to the pot, if you will. but i think in the end, the industry is going to be dependent to a significant degree on people who spend more than many of us think they should on their gambling involvement. >> if i could just make one more comment.
in illinois, the lottery manager was just directed to expand the promotion beyond low-income people to people who have more revenue. thank you. >> the chair recognizes the full committee vice chair, mrs. blackburn. >> thank you, mr. chairman. and as a point of i think just kind of reality point to this hearing, mr. barton, who we all dearly love, got off on a little bit of a tangent, when he did his opening statement this morning and he said that god is in favor of his online poker bill because his flight got in early and, you know, he thinks he had angel wings to help get him here. but i would encourage the gentleman from texas to remember he only need look at the number of his bill, 2666, to remember that the devil is in the details.
so just as a point of careful guidance and instruction. >> at least you were listening to me. [laughter] >> mr. barton, i am always listening. we women do that very well. ooh! yeah. ok. back to the questioning. aren't you all glad you came? [laughter] we're glad you came because i don't know if it is, mr. eggert, the bot net that is out there spamming our twitter accounts or what, but indeed they are very active. and we fully realize that. some of you may be aware that congressman welch and i are co- chairs of a privacy working group. and ms. schakowsky is a part of this. i have to tell you on a -- it's a bipartisan group. it's a part of this committee. we are enjoying the education
that we are getting on privacy issues and concerns from our constituents, and we're learning a lot. and one of the things that we have really taken note of is how incredibly complex the expectations of privacy are were -- are from constituents. and from different participants in the industry. and we are seeking to work through this in our working group sessions. so mr. freeman and mr. pappas, i want to come to you. i just very simply -- and mr. freeman, let's start with you. what are the expectations a consumer will have of privacy for their participation and their information if they -- if they log onto one of the sites? first you and, mr. pappas, if you'll follow him. >> thank you, congresswoman.
i think many were expecting andy and i to have the fireworks today. i'm thrilled to have you and mr. barton taking the stage. when it comes to privacy, it's obviously an area that we value significantly. consumer protection, a topic that's been a primary issue here today, should be an issue and it's an issue we believe in very passionately. the only way to address privacy, the only way to address consumer protection is through effective regulation. the black market is the one area where these issues won't be addressed. with online gaming, all of this is voluntary. people are going on, they're providing the information themselves. they're choosing to enter that information in there. through the regulatory bodies, the protection of that information is assured. that's what makes this -- that's what makes this situation unique in that sense that one, people are choosing to do this in a voluntary manner. two, regulators are ensuring that this information is protected. >> ok. >> first, let me start by saying that the messages you've been receiving via twitter and
you, are fromsure people from your district who care about playing online. second, the issues of privacy for internet gaming are no different than it would be from ecommerce company, be it amazon or facebook. we believe that licensed entities would have to require all of the same privacy and data security laws that every other american company must apply. you know, today we have a situation where american consumers, except for those in the three states where it is authorized, are playing on offshore sites and they are not subject to any u.s. law or regulation. so we're asking for a federal law or state law that ensure that the players, the sites are authorized, regulated and that those sites are adhering to all of the strong data privacy laws that this congress or states come up with. >> ok. thank you. mr. chairman, i've got two other questions i'm going to submit because of time.
one, it pertains to mr. abboud's testimony and the november 13 f.b.i. crimes division letter. and then the other pertains to the 2009 british hacker, ashley mitchell, when he was posing as an administration for zynga poker games. with that i yield back. >> thank you. now recognize for five minutes, the gentleman from vermont. >> thank you very much. folks are going to gamble. they like to do it. in any way they can they will. and obviously there are legitimate reasons and there are folks that get overwhelmed with it just like any kind of activity. so anything we do has to include some protections. you've been trying to do that in las vegas, as i understand it. but i want to direct these questions to professor volberg and professor eggert. how do we ensure that minimizing the harm is baked in as a priority from the start and not
simply laid on afterwards after the fact and the harm is done? i mean, if we get at it in the beginning with some sensible plan that has in my view more prospect for being successful and helping more people? >> i think the way you do that is you plan it before you legalize the internet gambling. it should be something that should be written into the regulations from day one. i think there's a lot of room. i am we with professor -- dr. volberg on this, a lot of room for research to see what helps with problem gamblers. as far as consumer protection, it's pretty straightforward what information people need and want in order to gamble. they should be provided that. one of my concerns about the state-by-state approach, i'm worried it will be a race to the bottom with states with weak protections will win out over states with stronger protections, and any federal
program has to take that into account and prevent it from happening. >> dr. volberg. >> i guess i'd echo professor eggert's remarks. you do have to start even before the regulations. you have to bake the language into the legislation that says this is not just about raising revenues or, you know, paying for other programs. this is about consumer protection and making sure that what we put in place is going to work. >> ok. thank you. mr. freeman and mr. pappas, you're advocates for this. what are your views on having as part of any authorization consumer -- a consumer protections and, b, some help to problem gamblers? start with you, mr. freeman. >> it is not often an industry comes before you for regulation. that's what the gaming industry is doing today, asking for
specific points around age verification, around consumer protection. responsible gaming. the way to do that is obviously through regulation. to the previous point that was made. the way our industry behaves, being regulated in nevada and mississippi and countless states around the country, we are actually held to the highest standard because any state in which we do business can punish us for what we do in another market. what we actually have is a race to the top in that sense and it's worked for an extended period of time for our industry. >> mr. pappas. >> most definitely. i mean, i represent a consumer- driven organization, so consumer protections are paramount to our concern. and that's why we believe a regulated market is going to far protect consumers than a prohibition or even the status quo. we believe that regulation that lawmakers require that regulators implement best of breed technologies and that it gives the companies the flexibility to innovate and beat all of the potential problems that have been raised. and i think that that is the best way to proceed with
lawmakers setting the standards, regulators, enforcing those standards, and companies innovating and making them even better. >> mr. abboud, you raised some legitimate concerns on the minds of lawmakers in the states and also here. i mean, is it your view that there really are no protections that could be part of any authorizing legislation that would get the job done so it's better not to do it at all? >> well, as i said, when the wire act was overturned, that's not the day the internet became safe. it's an issue that we study and an issue that we study every day. we don't feel that the technology there is to safeguard consumers to the extent -- >> let me ask this. if the technology were there, then would you have a different point of view? >> if the -- i don't think this is a market that we would ever go into. we think that turning every device into a casino takes gambling too far. >> so what would be the proper limit as you see it?
>> none. this country -- we talked about the european model. we have something in the united states that they don't have. billions and billions of dollars of brick and mortar casinos that generate job, that generate livelihoods across the country, based on shows, conventions, trade shows. europe doesn't have that simply because europe stepped forward and pandered to the lowest common denominator is something our industry should follow. >> thank you. i yield back. >> thank you, mr. welch. now recognizing the vice chair of the subcommittee, mr. lance, for five minutes. >> thank you. i think this is a very important panel. i respect everyone who is on the panel. i hope to participate in the hearing for its full length. i do have a health subcommittee as well. but i certainly am deeply interested in the views of everyone on the panel. to mr. pappas, you've stated in your testimony that the bill
does not force any state to participate in an interstate internet poker system. and equally as important, it allows states to implement their own online gaming regulations. as you are aware, new jersey has begun internet gambling. with this legislation, in your , inhat did this legislation your view, in any way preempt what new jersey is currently doing? >> mr. barton's bill, 2666 would not in any way restrict the ability of nevada or any state to provide -- >> i think your microphone is off. >> you're right. i'm sorry. mr. barton's bill would not restrict in any way the ability of new jersey or any other state to provide house casino games, lottery tickets except poker. with poker, it would require the state become an authorized federal body. authorized by the federal
government to continue to do that. given that new jersey has -- is known for being one of the most robust gaming regulations. >> and heavily regulated. >> they would easily meet if not exceed whatever standards the federal government sets aside. >> thank you. and then to mr. freeman and mr. abboud. regarding the d.o.j. opinion as it concerns the wire act, is it the view of both of you -- i know you reach a different conclusion, but does there need to be statutory legislation in this regard as opposed nearly to -- as opposed merely to an opinion from the current d.o.j.? first, mr. freeman and then mr. abboud. >> it's our opinion that the online gaming environment would be better with congress putting in place minimum thresholds in the areas i discussed, of age verification, of geo locations and others. without that states are moving forward. they're putting in place, as your state is doing, very comprehensive regulations.
i think they're showing an ability to regulate this market effectively. >> thank you. mr. abboud. >> well, as i stated previously, we think that the wire act, being overturned could be overturned at any moment by any administration. the states that are going forward are doing so with great risk. as are the -- my fellow industry members are going forward with great risk. so that's why we have -- that is why i'm here asking for the wire act to be restored so we can take away that ambiguity. >> and you'd restore it in such a way this would not be permitted? >> correct. >> and mr. freeman, you would modify it to permit it with certain federal regulations? >> again, putting in place those minimum standards. in the absence of that, or even with the changes that are recommended, people are going to continue to game. as we mentioned before, in 2012, nearly $3 billion was spent fixing the wire act does nothing to change the desire that's been referenced.
>> i tend to agree with that. and certainly i believe in new jersey we have tried to be responsible, and let me repeat that i believe that new jersey regulation is strict. and we have had a generation of experience in this regard. but i certainly respect both of your points of view on this issue. mr. pappas, regarding congressman barton's legislation, would it in any way prevent new jersey from offering games of chance such as black jack or slots? >> no, sir, it would not restrict the ability. for any house bank games, poker would be the only place where new jersey would have to consult with the federal law. >> and from your perspective, that consultation would be relatively easy and seamless and it's likely that new jersey could continue to do what it's currently doing?
>> it's our hope. as an organization, we fought very hard for the new jersey law and we support that law and we support mr. barton's law and we hope it can work together. >> thank you. from my perspective, the governor of new jersey, my close friend, governor christie, try to work in a comprehensive fashion and we try to work with all of those who are interested in this issue, including all of those on this panel. and i want to thank the panel. and mr. abboud, you certainly represent a very great corporation in this country, sands, and i deeply respect that. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, mr. lance. and now the chairman emeritus for the full committee, mr. joe barton. you are recognized. >> thank you, mr. chairman. let me start out, i was being somewhat flippant when i talked about god being for this bill. obviously god doesn't care a fig one way or another about our
bill. but i will say as a practicing christian that god does give men and women free will. and i think we ought to have a law that reflects free will in this issue. i did not say in my opening statement, but we do have some representatives of the indian casinos and indian gaming associations in the room and they were invited to present testimony and be a part of the panel. it was a voluntary basis so they were invited and they chose not to. but obviously indian gaming is a huge part of this issue since almost as much and perhaps more people play in indian casinos than non-indian casinos. mr. freeman, in your testimony you gave a list of things that you said federal legislation should include or accomplish.
in listening to you, i believe that my bill, h.r. 2666 hit all those points. do you agree with that? >> mr. barton, your bill certainly hits those points and others. there are points we'd certainly like to see added to that and happy to discuss those with you. >> ok. and mr. abboud, i'm glad that you're here and you represent the sands corporation. the first hotel casino that i stayed in as a young man when i went to las vegas for the first time was the old sands. and just last year, i held a political fundraising event at the venetian, which i believe is a property of this current sands corporation. and so i have great respect for the company that you represent. ms. schakowsky pointed out in her questioning some advertising
material. i'd like to put that up on the board. up on the screen. the cantor gaming, which is a vendor of sands and does the venetian. has -- on that particular slide right there, is there anything you can't do on a smartphone or tablet nowadays, mobile casino gaming is available to you on property during your stay. you can even play from your room. and then the next one, which is, again, at the venetian. it talks about their sports book that you can wager from anywhere in nevada. now, i want to be fair on the first slide about the gaming.
it does not allow you to play poker from your room for some reason. you can do slots or roulette or wheel of fortune or whatever, but i'd like to hear your comments on this because what you're advertising here, as ms. schakowsky pointed out, is the same thing that we're talking about in my bill, for poker only, it's just a matter of how wide the geography is or the wireless connection. >> well, that's why we're here today and i appreciate the opportunity to respond to what congresswoman schakowsky said. because it's all about human interaction, right? congressman, all of you have the right to eyeball me and determine whether or not i'm telling the truth. and you can hold me accountable. doesn't happen with a lot of online gaming opportunities, does it? and it's also about the location. that is a very controlled environment in a regulated state, in a regulated casino
that can be done within the four walls of our building. you have to go up to congressman terry, if he works at the cage, fill out the application, have an eyeball-to-eyeball experience. make sure you are aren't on the self-exclusion list. make sure you haven't had too much to drink. >> i don't want you to filibuster the last 30 seconds. what your company is advertising here, except for the geography, is the same thing that my bill does. and my bill is poker only. poker only. now, i've never met a professional roulette player. i've never met a professional slots player. but there are lots of professional poker players, because it is a game of skill. now, if we're at the final table here, mr. long, myself, mr. harper, mr. terry, ms.
schakowsky, i'm -- i've got a high probability that i can tell you which one of us comes out the winner at the final table. because i played with billy long and i think he probably beats me. i've never played with jan, so i don't know. she may be a sleeper. [laughter] but poker is a game of skill. and all my bill does is allow free will at the state level if the governor allows it for people who want to to play poker online. and i, again, appreciate mr. terry for his holding this hearing. i'm going to stay and hear the other questions. maybe, if given the opportunity, i'd like a second round for myself if -- >> jan and i will discuss it. the gentlelady from illinois and i will discuss that. mr. harper, you're recognized for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. and thank each of you for being here on what is a very important
topic and one that is -- has created a little bit of a division. ok. quite a divide. but i -- you know, we have, of course, legal gambling in the state of mississippi. it's a big industry. on average about $2.2 billion worth of revenue a year, spent on gambling in mississippi versus maybe, what, $10 billion a year on average in nevada, perhaps, but it's -- but it is a tourism-driven business. the brick and mortar issues, very important there. and it is a destination so that what you see is not just a casino but you see restaurants, golf courses, water parks. i mean, other things that are there. this brings none of that. my concern -- i guess my overriding concern is, if we
address this issue and we do what mr. barton proposes or what others may propose is how are we doing anything to address what is the underlying problem or the background problem of offshore and out-of-country illegal sites? we're not addressing that. and certainly, if we restore the teeth,t and give it some perhaps we can do it. it would seem to me that this bill, the problem that i have, one of the problems -- if we allow states to -- if we make it legal and and states can opt out. if you are going to go that route, the better thing would be to make it illegal and let the , thatlegislatures opt in might give some better
safeguards. proposing that. but versus what we are seeing. my concern -- i will start with you, mr. abboud. what, in your view, would it take for the u.s. to be able to effectively regulate internet and control the offshore illegal sites. do we have the ability to do that if we -- if we had the will? >> i think we do. government is doing it with online pharmacies, they shut down 1200 illegal online pharmacies. do it isat we cannot not a possible answer. when it comes to the safety of the industry and the integrity, it is the fbi that has testified before congress saying that there is no guarantees you can prevent you from gambling. -- youth from gambling.
with all due respect to converse in barton, you cannot collude against each other around the table. i do not know what happens online. no one has proven that you cannot collude against each other. this is in its infancy. a rush to market because the wire act was overturned. internetot the day the became safe. it is not a safe place for a lot of transactions. before, this is a play to the use -- to the youth of america, this is going to be our joe camel moment. responsibly,behave it could be the demise of our industry. to go forward would be irresponsible. >> when it seem that the best place to start would be to do
everything we can from a technological standpoint to shut down the illegal sites? >> absolutely. there has not been enough discussion about that. i think everyone is in agreement to shut down the sites. it is essential. if that is all that came out of this process, we would be better off. that we have not done anything. the industry, including my company and the no casino people, have not done enough to push for that -- >> if you do not address that, if you make illegal across the board. there are going to be additional responsibilities and costs which would be something that players notd incur, would that naturally drive them to do the cheaper site. >> that is if you have not stopped the sites. if it was to be legalized today.
and we do not shut off illegal operators, i think the industry as it exists today is that an unfair advantage. they will be operating in a regulated environment. there is nothing to prevent the illegal operator from giving why the market, giving away the house. to get online.r able go down to the -- they will market.to the >> thank you. my time has expired. >> the gentleman from ohio is recognized. >> i believe strongly that states' rights plays a role in the decisions that we will make about gaming. state governors, the legislatures, the people of the -- in aare much more
better position to be able to decide what they want than regulators here in washington dc i also understand, being an i.t. that the internet has opened the door to a different kind of technology that has to be looked at and evaluated. dhea -- the aga has changed its position on internet gaming over the years. what is its current position on internet poker and online gaming? do you want a federal law or gui the states in charge? state's do you want the in charge? >> our position was announced in statesd we support choosing whether or not they want to offer the game.
in the absence of federal action, states have moved forward. we have begun to see states like new jersey, nevada, and delaware do this effectively. the industry is interested in what new jersey is doing, they are proving they can do it effectively. concern from a technological perspective is, to say we are going to regulate it is one thing. to do it effectively and protect the innocent. gambling is anat enticement to some who would see a potential quickfix to a financial problem. i understand that. i also understand that we do not outlaw prescription drugs because some people fall victim to addictions to prescription drugs. choice.l about the
i firmly believe that the american people have the ability to make those kinds of decisions. my concern is how the technology -- how protections would be put in place to protect minors. to protect children. to protect the situation that our chairman talked about were his kid uses his credit card and goes out and gambles a couple hundred thousand dollars a way without him knowing. because we know today that miners, young people, others that should not get to certain restricted adult sites and other sites are able to do so. geek, i being an i.t. know there is no perfect security. those of you that our proponents, you can just sound off one at a time. how do you propose to make sure peopler innocent young
are not the ones -- and maybe people like my chairman who wind up with gambling debt that he did not know what was going to be on his credit card -- to fall victim? >> if i can't respond first, it is a very important question -- respond first. it is very important to look at these issues. we are not talking about it periodically, candace be regulated. -- can this be regulated? inis being regulated three states and has been related in europe for 10 years. .his is a mature industry with respect to underage access, there has not been a single reported incident of underage access because of this tight asian verification technologies available. it is not going on -- this tight age verification technologies available.
it is not clicking and going on, you have to go through multi an sure you are of the approved age. it is not like other forms of e- commerce that are not restricted. there are specific ways to address. i would argue that it is easier to protect problem gamblers online that it is in brick and mortar is yes. i could walk into the venetian and walk out and not a single person as i lost 1000 dollars. online, they know every moment you are on the site and every game you are playing, every wager you are making, every win recordedis tracked and in real-time and regulators recognize. in terms of gold regulating and ensuring it is not abuse. >> i would point out -- we have
a prime example with healthcare.gov. regulated does not necessarily equal secure. >> at this time, we recognize mr. long from missouri. >> thank you. with your comments about the chanting, i am going to miss you on this subcommittee -- the chai i am going to miss you on this subcommittee [laughter] gambling, he was buying lacrosse stuff and itunes. >> mr. abboud. during the hearings, we can go back to the transcript. i thought i heard you say when you were talking to mr. terry, he did the first questioning. i thought i understood you to say that you are ok if poker is legalized on internet as long as
it is not expanded to include all forms of gambling. >> no. record, we are opposed to all forms of internet gaming. >> ok. that is what i thought i heard. eggert, asmr. areas these poker bots concerned, they are computer programs that operate how? is this someone on the site or someone in their apartment acting like they are a living breathing person. >> they can be both types. there have been poker sites that stimulatebots to games so that there are more people to sit down at a game -- >> like a shell in a casino. >> they should be telling people it is a bot. the bots that are most
concerning are not from the site. they are ones that people have designed and are running on home computers so it looks like they are playing but actually the decisions they are making, fold,r to bet, raise, are being made by software. >> mr. freeman, a few years ago there was a guy whose name was the world who won series of poker. he got in on a satellite and won $6 million. that's a jet fuel into the internet poker thing. there the course of that, were some high-profile cheating scandals where the operators of these sites were actually looking at your cards. and what the skill of the poker players, they realized -- "60
id a special. how can people be ensured that that activities does not start again? >> you speak to things we want to prevent. in those days we did not have regulations built in and a lot of scary things took place. we are talking about a regulated environment with a license companies. there is a reason license companies do not want underage people online and do not want to see cheating. that is because they can lose their license. not just to online facilities, but their brick-and-mortar facilities, and which they have invested billions of dollars. you have a moral and a business incentive to do this in the most proper -- and the most and regulated manner. that is what will ensure that consumers are protected. several members
that i assume all half brick- and-mortar facilities. associationin our has a brick-and-mortar facility. i know you cannot see into the future, is your best guess if this legislation did pass and people or authorized to open online poker only casinos, do you visualize that being mgm, ds, will it be the big operators in brick and mortar or smaller operators? >> that goes to congressman harper's point. how do we protect brick-and- mortar investments. you already have these facilities standing, how do we make sure they thrive? we allow them to tap into the new market or they go the way of blockbuster if they cannot adapt and keep up. >> do you think they will be the
only ones -- >> the states will determine how they want to structure. in new jersey, the brick-and- mortar are the only 1 -- now,vada has online poker new jersey is going for it. let's say that all three of them had it tomorrow. can people in nevada -- do you have to be a resident to play? if you're in nevada and new jersey has it, could someone in nevada play against someone in new jersey or is it new jersey people playing against new jersey people? >> the gentleman's time is over, but i will give you 10 seconds. >> you have to be within the boundaries of the state, not a resident. as identified by geolocation. the point about kennedy states work together, they probably can. they have not reached agreements, but the opportunity
is there. >> thank you. >> that concludes the time for questions. i have unanimous consent to include the following items, statement of the national indian gaming association, statement of beckwith on behalf of the national association of convenience stores, statement of independent software engineer, number four, correspondence between mr. bill young of florida and the fbi. hearing no objections, so ordered. the next item of business is that we have -- we as the right to- have the submit questions to you, written questions. we will hopefully have those done within the next couple weeks. out 14d appreciate ab
you get written questions from this committee that within about 14 days you have them back. all of ourhank witnesses for being here, this was a good discussion. sometimes we made it a little light, but this is an important issue. i will make this comment, when mr. barton first introduced this lot of us thought it was pretty out there. but with this decision by the justice department, it makes it a very relevant question and one that we have to deal with. bill that i introduced in this committee was to repeal the natural gas policy on natural gas.
that was way out there at that time. >> good point. happen. five or six years ago, i started a hearing on the bcs, everyone thought that was crazy. this is the last year of the bcs and we are modifying playoffs. mr. chairman, the time is coming. >> we have always thought about you on the cutting edge. time is on our side. >> thank you for holding the hearing. >> i think all of our witnesses, we are adjourned. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013] the senate moved forward on both the budget deal and defense programs bill, each passed in the house last week. the senate returns today at 3:00 to consider the nominations of and patterson forrester secretary of state -- of ann patterson and jeh johnson.
the house has finished legislative business for the year and will be in for a pro forma session at 11 here on c- span. i wish you both a very happy christmas and a bright and prosperous new year. to greet youeasure and to help you open the sale that begins on thanksgiving day of this year. >> would you mind autographing some of the christmas seals as a favor for santa claus? should be delighted. it is one of the things that i do best. [laughter] >> it is a good thing. >> it is a wonderful thing. father, santa claus, gave it
to me. >> it has got some of the dogs hair in it. >> first ladies, season two. edith roosevelt to grace coleridge, weeknights at 9:00 on c-span. on c-span, q&a with historian and author margaret macmillan. at 7:00 a.m., "washington your phone live with calls and the days latest news. ? >> this week on "q&a," historian and author margaret macmillan discusses her latest historical narrative entitled, "the war that ended peace -- the road to 1914."
host: margaret macmillan, author of "the war that ended peace -- the road to 1914." i want to jump ahead in your book to june 28, 1914. what happened? guest: the archduke franz ferdinand and his wife were in sarajevo, part of austria- hungary. it was a bad day for him to come, because it was a serbian holiday. serbia was furious that austria- hungary had taken over bosnia. there were plotters who had been plotting to build a greater serbia. it was one of the symbols of the oppression within austria- hungary, and they decided to kill him, and they did. it was sloppy police work. they shot one of -- one of conspirators shot the archduke and his wife point blank.