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Bankers Won't Foreclose On 'Net

10 May 1997

Now, if you think gambling is about money you probably don't know much about banking. If you want to talk about real money, you should talk to what they call "Central Bankers." These are the guys who really can sign a cheque for a trillion dollars. And, do these guys gamble! You have never seen anything like it.

They gamble with things like inflation and the stock-market and when the play their cards wrong, lose! Great way to gamble, huh?

So, the Central Bankers and their buddies, the Finance Ministers, had a meeting in Washington DC in early May to talk about money,...and the Internet. So, what has this got to do with on-line gambling, well it is what they said about the two key issues of the Internet and regulation that is relevant.

Regular readers of RGT will have seen the unseemly race to ban gambling on the Internet by a number of US State Attorney Generals and Senators with ambitions to be President. This is presumably because it represents such a horrible threat to the social fabric of American society. If you believed the NAAGS, billions of dollars are being gambled over the Web. According to Senator Kyl (R. Arizona) people are betting their homes away in an afternoon of cyberslots.

Now, if this was the kind of threat, in money terms, people like the North American Attorneys Group would like to make out, then, believe me, these Bankers would know. So, what did they decide the immediate future of Internet regulation and laws should be? A Bloomberg report contained these little snippets of Cyberwisdom.

The Group of 10 Nations (10 largest industrial nations) said: "We have decided not to impose laws to regulate Internet payment or prepaid debit card systems for fear of choking developments that could someday boost economies."

"The guardians of payment systems worldwide say they can take a hands-off approach because the number and size of these new types of consumer electronic transfers, or electronic cash systems are negligible."

"Authorities in many countries view the application of new regulations as premature".

So here we see at last some common sense. They don't want to regulate or ban. They want to watch!

They said "existing laws sufficiently protected consumers and fought criminal use."

Now, these Bankers do have some concerns, they worry about electronic money laundering and counterfeiting. Yet, instead of jumping into the cyperpond and screaming for regulations and bans on these developing technologies they have soundly decided to watch and see what develops.

They recognize just how "early days" "net commerce, including gambling, is at this stage. Now, if only we could get the Group of Ten Nations to have a look at cybergambling and get the NAAGS to take over banking.

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