Casinos all over the US are using the "Runner Runner" movie to point out the dangers of an unregulated online poker market. The movie, which opens today, portrays Justin Timberlake as a Princeton grad student who has been conned out of his tuiton money by an online poker website based in Costa Rica.
The American Gaming Association, which counts amongst its members such powerfull casino groups as Caesar's Entertainment and MGM Resorts International, has displayed a barrage of ads in Google, Twitter, IMDB and Facebook, pushing for the creation of a nation-wide law to regulate online poker. The message in the ads reads: "Online gambling is here. It’s happening. Let’s create a regulated market in the U.S. that keeps the bad guys out and lets players play ... safely.”
The idea is to point to the dangers of unregulated online gambling so that legislation can be created to protect players and allow the industry to flourish in a safe, regulated and taxed environment. There is however more to this than the common good of players, there is a powerfull lobbying intention behind it. The group aims to allow only existin casinos the right to offer regulated online gambling. They also want to make a disctintion between online gambling in genral and online poker so as to protect the very profitable casino games, keeping them indoors within the mayor casinos which are part of the AGA.