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7/13/2007
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Caribbean Nations Join Antigua and Barbuda In Call For Regulated Gambling

The Conference of the Caribbean Community said its members will work with Congress to regulate Internet gaming.

The online gambling industry is gaining some momentum as it draws allies for its push to legalize Internet gambling in the United States.

The Conference of the Caribbean Community has announced that it supports regulated online gambling instead of the current outright ban. The 15 member countries have pledged to work with Congress to regulate and enforce Internet gaming.

The nations said they support the Internet Gambling Regulation and Enforcement Act, introduced by Massachusetts Congressman Barney Frank, as well as efforts by Antigua and Barbuda to receive compensation under the U.S. World Trade Organization ruling that found the United States in violation of trade agreements because of the betting ban.

"Rather than face billions in trade sanctions for WTO violations, we hope that members of Congress will instead regulate Internet gambling in order to comply with the WTO, better protect consumers, and generate billions of dollars for important government programs," Jeffrey Sandman, spokesman for the Safe and Secure Internet Gambling Initiative, said in a statement.

Sandman and others argue that Frank's proposal would protect Americans against compulsive and underage gambling, while reducing the risk of fraud. The legislation would require companies to obtain licenses and give people a means to voice and resolve grievances.

Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Montserrat, Saint Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago are all members of the Conference of the Caribbean Community, also known as CARICOM. They announced their efforts to support regulated online gambling in the United States at their most recent meeting in Barbados last week.

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