The Safe and Secure Internet Gambling Initiative has added its voice to the many other calls from civic bodies condemning the recent attempt by the Commonwealth of Kentucky to seize online gambling domain names (see previous InfoPowa reports) and calling the initiative "flawed."

Instead, says spokesman Jeffrey Sandman in an open letter to Kentucky governor Steve Beshear, the Commonwealth should be supporting the regulation of Internet gambling as a way to protect Kentuckians and generate tax revenues.

"Governor Beshar is right to acknowledge that Internet gambling is flourishing in an underground marketplace and a change is needed to protect Kentuckians and all Americans," says the SSIGI statement.

"Unfortunately, his solution is flawed. Prohibition has failed before and is not likely to stop Kentuckians or anyone in the U.S. from continuing to find a way to gamble online.

"The movement to regulate Internet gambling, led by House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank, advocates for a more responsible approach to protect consumers and capture billions of dollars to fund critical government programs, money that otherwise is lost to offshore businesses and out of the U.S. economy.

"Based on pending legislation, the Investing in our Human Resources Act (H.R.6051), Kentuckians could receive an estimated $556 million over 10 years to fund critical programs from regulated Internet gambling revenues. The bill also includes provisions to encourage responsible Internet gambling behavior and an awareness of unsafe practices, something problem gambling advocates praise.

"Gov. Beshear has shown great leadership in protecting Kentuckians' individual right to gamble on horse racing and in casinos if they wish to opt for that form of entertainment. He should extend that right to those constituents who seek the freedom to gamble online, whether on poker, sports or other games.

"We encourage Gov. Beshear to reverse his position and support Internet gambling regulation as a sensible approach to protect the interests of his constituents."

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