Chinese pursue virtual sanity in online gambling

Funny money no longer such a joke

Native tribe embraces ancient online wagering tradition

Although the Citadel and Firepay ewallet systems recently dumped Canadians from their approved list of online gambling clients, the Canadian native tribes continue to push for a bigger slice of that tasty online gambling pie.

According to Gambling911.com, the Alexander Nation First Tribe, located near Edmonton in Alberta, Canada, has been consulting with the Mohawks of Kahnawake, Quebec, who already operate a wildly successful online gaming jurisdiction and hosting service.

The controversy has been brewing for a couple of months now, and recent statements by Alberta's solicitor general have hardened attitudes on both sides. The tribe's position has been summed up nicely by an attorney familiar with the case.

"Just as other aboriginal groups have established constitutional self-governing rights to logging, fishing and hunting, the Alexander band could get a legal imprimatur to host offshore internet gambling firms...if it can prove that wagering was a major part of the band's ancestral heritage, gaming-industry lawyer Michael Lipton said last month to Online-casinos.com.

"If the facts exist to demonstrate that a rudimentary - very rudimentary - form of gambling exists, be it in the form of stones and sticks or beads or whatever the case may be, the law says that if they've got the facts, this is the law, they have to follow it," said Lipton.

Macau rejects purity, spreads its love online

The China Economic Review has reported that Macau will introduce legislation to regulate online and remote gaming within the next two years.

Both telephone and online gambling will be legalized, giving it a leg up on Las Vegas, where internet or mobile gaming is legal only within the casinos themselves.

All the better to help those internet gaming companies tap that Asian market.

Playtech deepens Chinese penetration

Fresh on the heels of wrapping up a deal with the Communist Youth League, Playtech has also bagged the Chinese Mah Jong Association (CMA), according to a press release.

Tom Hall, president of Playtech's Asia Pacific Operations, commented: "The CMA is an accredited Government body and we are delighted to be supporting the Association to promote the world wide growth of Mahjong games. This sponsorship agreement clearly illustrates Playtech's full commitment to developing the considerable growth potential of Asian gaming market."

Not to be outdone, CMA chairman Mr Sheng Qi, added: "We are very happy to have Playtech sponsor the CMA's activities. Their considerable financial support will allow us to better manage our numerous tournaments and educate people about the great game of Mahjong, which has long been part of Chinese gaming culture. In addition, they will also be supportive in technology matters, which are extremely useful given our drive to take full advantage of the internet and new educational and promotional tools."

No word on what virtual winnings are in store, or where they may be redeemed. ®

Burke Hansen, attorney at large, heads a San Francisco law office

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