Yesterday’s senate hearing on internet gambling suggests industry-friendly federal legislation is a long way off.

There was much hope invested in the senate hearing, coming on the back of two federal bills. However, the line-up of witnesses chosen to provide expert testimony on the pros and cons of online gambling did not look promising.

Chuck Canterbury, the president of the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP), is a trade union official more used to talking about pensions than online gambling.

Catholic Advocate president Matt Smith is a former member of George W. Bush’s White House team, where he served as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs at the US Department of Veterans Affairs. Smith is more used to fighting abortion than the proliferation of gambling on the internet.

Thomas Grissen, the CEO of Daon, a company supplying biometric identification software, looked likely to provide some balance until he admitted absolutely no experience in online gambling. Interesting software but primarily used by banks.

The final witness was Joe Blum, an attorney who specialises in money laundering compliance and believes “gambling is dumb” - his opening words.

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