On March 20, 1997 a Public Hearing was held to examine
the role of the Internet in the dissemination of Gambling Information in New
York State. Senator William Larkin, Jr. was the Chairman of the
event and Senators Thomas W. Libous, Michael F. Nozzolio and Assemblyman
Joseph Crowley listened to a variety of speakers to obtain their point of
view on various issues related to this subject. I was the last speaker
and represented EduSelf Multimedia Publishers and Superior Gaming. I have
transcript of this event.
Dr. Craig Fields, the Vice Chairman of the Alliance
Gaming Corporation was among the speakers as well. Dr. Fields is considered
the foremost expert on information technology and the Internet. Dr.
Fields was a past Director of the Advanced Research Projects Agency which is
probably rightfully credited with developing the technology of the Internet.
The Internet was developed for military purposes from the late sixties to
the middle eighties during the central period of the Cold War. It was
designed to build a military communications technology that would be almost
impossible to interrupt and almost impossible to monitor. It was
designed to be Russian-proof. It is virtually impossible to regulate.
Dr. Fields went on to explain how difficult it is to
monitor all gambling activities since information comes from anywhere and
everywhere. Every country, state, province and so on have their own
laws, which of course further complicates Internet Regulation and taxation
from a legal stand point. If a person was sending a message from Paris
to Marseilles, that message might travel to San Francisco or Hong Kong en
route to it final destination. Even if laws were passed to attempt some sort
of control, the robust nature of the Internet would make enforcement of such
laws remarkably difficult to police. There is even issues regarding
what languages messages are sent in making translation an additional factor.
Dr. Fields went on to further advance the concept of
licensing gambling organizations as a sort of government stamp of
credibility. Dr. Fields went on to point out the necessity of the quality of
expertise in the selection of personnel, rather then the quantity of people
to be involved in dealing with electronic commerce.
Other speakers at this hearing included Timothy Carey,
Chairman of the New York State Consumer Protection Board; Albe Angel of the
Interactive Gaming Council; Mark Seber, Director of Corporate Services of
the Capital Off-Track Betting and Peter Murphy of Vantage Technologies;
Laura Letson, Executive Director of the New York Council on Problem
Gambling; John Aiello, Executive Director of the New York Council of
Charitable Organizations, and a few other experts. As you can see many
interests were represented.
Dennis Brida was a speaker and I assisted him with the
preparation of his speech since he had limited understanding of computer
technology. Dennis at that time mentioned the attendance effects at
the racetrack of off-track betting and the importance of competing for the
entertainment/gambling dollar. Dennis stated that anywhere gambling
goes, racing must go also. Additionally, Dennis wanted assurances that
there would be some distribution to the racing and breeding industry in the
advent of online gambling. Today, the concerns of omission by the
State of New York is once again an issue with Governor Pataki's recent
proposal for exclusion for two years of revenue to horsemen from Video
Taking this opportunity to reflect back on my
participation, I feel that I was very much in keeping with what the future
did have in store for our industry. I stated that the vision of the
size, scope and growth of the Internet was not expressed adequately to the
Council. I explained that there would be at least 12,000,000 sites by
the end of 1997. I highlighted the development and proliferation of
Cable Modems and high speed hook ups. I mentioned the growth of online
shopping and the rapid expansion of wireless hand held computers. I
mentioned the speed of technological growth and the computers of tomorrow. I
mentioned the dangers of Internet hackers and the vulnerability of
I look back with pride on the quality and foresight of my
contribution to this meeting. Of course the vulnerability of
electronic systems reached its apex with the Breeders' Cup betting scandal.
Please feel free to contact me to share opinions and
exchange idea of how we, as horsemen, can benefit from with this vital
communication vehicle known to us all as the Internet.
November 10, 2009 - Update
By January 1, 2010 there will be in
excess of 200,000,000 websites on the Internet. The are also various
communication and interaction activities to include, Facebook, Twitter,
Blogs and a host of other internet related entries to also include YouTube
and other video media outlets. The growth of the Internet and its use
surpasses the highest expectations of a decade ago.
The growth of bandwidth and handheld
devices is absolutely amazing. The amazing handheld services include Global
Positioning Satellite (GPS) devices which even provide traffic reports,
Television Shows, Photographic Video Capabilities and the ability to Email
those personal videos and pictures, News and Sports and Music and Voice
Transmission and the list seems to grow with each day to the services that
are provided right in the palm of your hand from virtually most of the
These are amazing times and the
changes are coming fast and furious. In twenty years, the young people
of that generation will wonder how we were able to exist with such primitive
communication devices, just as we are amazed at how far we have come from
1990 to 2010.
For Thoroughbred Racing to remain
viable, we desperately need to be on the cutting edge of progress as it
arrives by being ready for it before our competitors are able to utilize the
progress of communication and interaction. I always point out the we
need to avail ourselves of the best minds that are available to remain in
the game. And of course we need to start right away because,
"The Time is Always Now."