US mobile operators may get into gambling

29 May 2006

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the INQUIRER
By Tony Dennis: Saturday 27 May 2006, 16:31
FRESH LEGISLATION aimed at preventing online gambling in the USA may entice mobile network operators into the gambling sector. Particularly if MVNOs move in to take advantage.

A bill sponsored by Republican, Robert Goodlatte, aims to make it illegal for US banks to process financial transactions involving online gambling. He raised the old chestnut of gambling undermining families to justify it.

A bit rich when the nation’s fastest growing city is Las Vegas. What exactly does he think families go there for? The rides?

Anyway, it’s pretty easy to raise a betting stake by using reverse SMS billing. The INQ was previously assured that reverse SMS billing can’t be used to pay for pornography in the USA. However, that wasn’t a law – merely a decision taken by the mobile operators themselves.

So there’s a prospect that an MVNO could set itself up to offer SIM cards which could then be used to pay for stakes on online PC sites or on mobile sites.

Somewhat ironically, the handset accessible casino which the INQ has fully tested – Wild Jack Mobile Casino – uses a casino owned by Native Americans to handle its bets.

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