[ISN] Gaming regulators discuss security of Internet gambling

From: InfoSec News (isnat_private)
Date: Wed Aug 01 2001 - 02:48:18 PDT

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    Tuesday, July 31, 2001 
    LAS VEGAS (AP) -- Nevada gaming regulators trying to decide whether to
    regulate Internet gambling weren't exactly convinced the state is
    ready for cybercasinos after hearing Tuesday that technology can't yet
    provide total security.
    ``There's no such thing as an absolutely secure site,'' said James
    Sargent, senior consultant for BMM Australia, a consulting company
    that helped write Australia's Internet gaming regulations.
    Nevada lawmakers recently approved a bill allowing the state Gaming
    Commission to develop rules to let Nevada casino operators operate Web
    gambling sites.
    Since the legislation says Internet gambling must be secure and
    reliable, gambling regulators began a two-day seminar Tuesday to let
    technology experts offer their tips.
    But the news wasn't encouraging for regulators who would like
    assurance they are on the right track.
    Sargent said Web casinos are constantly at risk for money laundering,
    identity and credit card theft. Hackers and even countries who may
    have a problem with Internet gambling could sabotage sites, he said.
    ``It sounds like constant warfare,'' Commission Chairman Brian
    Sandoval said.
    In land casinos, it's the eye in the sky that does the cheating
    patrol. Overhead cameras capture nearly every inch of the casino,
    making nabbing cheaters pretty cut and dry. Some casinos even use
    facial recognition technology that takes pictures of players, then
    tries to match them to known cheaters.
    But Internet gambling is a whole new world, even to the state that
    first legalized gambling. How do you keep minors from playing? How do
    you keep out gamblers from countries and states where Internet
    gambling is illegal?
    ``Technology does not exist in its current state to provide 100
    percent protection,'' Sargent said.
    Sargent gave suggestions for setting up security points for Web
    casinos and how to react to an attack, but that did nothing to advance
    Nevada's entry into cybercasinos.
    ``Certainly that causes me some concern,'' Sandoval said after hearing
    Sargent's presentation. He said he wasn't comfortable that the level
    of security needed exists.
    The U.S. Justice Department has considered Internet gambling to be
    illegal from within the United States because of a 40-year-old federal
    law banning betting on the telephone.
    But Nevada lawmakers believe the legalization of online betting is
    inevitable, especially if federal restrictions are changed by pending
    court challenges, including one in Louisiana.
    MGM Mirage, the largest owner of hotel-casinos in Las Vegas, decided
    not to wait to see if Nevada regulates Web casinos. The company has
    applied for a cybercasino license from the Isle of Man, a small
    semi-independent island located in the center of the British Isles.
    Nevada regulations don't prohibit casinos from operating Internet
    casinos regulated by foreign jurisdictions.
    The world's largest gambling company -- Park Place Entertainment Corp.
    -- is choosing the wait-and-see attitude.
    ``Until the public and the gaming industry feels confident with
    Internet controls and safeguards, we should focus on those issues
    rather than pushing casino-style gambling into millions of homes that
    may not want it,'' Tom Gallagher, Park Place president and chief
    executive officer, said during the seminar.
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