Anthony Cabot, a highly respected Las Vegas lawyer known for his extensive knowledge of the Internet gaming industry, this week voiced his opinion on the likely influence that presidential candidates McCain and Obama may have on the industry if elected.
In an interview with the Las Vegas Business Press he spoke on the chances of reversing the controversial Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act following the election of a new US president in November.
The law is designed to halt or disrupt "illegal" online gaming financial transactions and criminalises the transfer of funds from illicit online gambling, but excludes horse racing and places the burden of enforcement on the US financial services industry without precisely defining what an "illegal" transaction is.
Diverse legislation is currently in the Congressional system designed to clarify the law, legalise online gambling or initiate an independent enquiry into the popular pastime.
Cabot told LV Business Press that a web of problems face lawmakers in applying the ban. "It's very hard for a bank to identify what is a legal or illegal transaction," Cabot said.
However, the imminent US presidential election could impact efforts to overturn the UIGEA, he opined. "If (Arizona Sen. John) McCain is elected, the Internet gaming ban would never be repealed."
But if Illinois Sen. Barack Obama becomes the next president, the equation could change, Cabot said, given that some big Obama supporters, such as Massachusetts Democrat Barney Frank who chairs the House Financial Services Committee, oppose the ban.
"I think if Senator Obama was elected, it [the UIGEA] would be more likely to be repealed," Cabot said.
Cabot knows whereof he speaks; he has been practicing gaming law for more than 27 years, specialising in Internet, sweepstakes and contests. Before joining the Las Vegas law firm Lewis and Roca, he was chairman of Lionel Sawyer & Collins' gaming practice.
He entered gaming law after moving to Las Vegas from Arizona to work for state's most prominent law firm in 1981, where he was mentored by experts like former Gov. Grant Sawyer and attorney Bob Faiss.
Cabot's work in Internet gaming motivated him to co-found the International Masters of Gaming Law Foundation.