I B Why Internet Casinos Do Not Currently Meet Colorado’s Regulatory Standards

Internet casinos do not, as a rule, meet the regulatory standards that have been established for land-based casinos in Colorado. As an illustration, we will compare the English Harbour Casino [32] to the regulatory regime imposed by Colorado’s Limited Gaming Act. The result will show that English Harbour does not live up to Colorado’s attempts to promote the integrity of the games, the integrity of casino finances, and the integrity of casino owners and employees. [33]

The English Harbour casino does not conduct “limited gaming” as that word is understood by Colorado law. Patrons of the casino need only be the age of majority, rather than the age of twenty-one as proscribed by Colorado law. [34] The casino does not limit itself to the permissible games of poker, blackjack and slot machines, but instead also offers such games as craps, keno, and roulette. [35] Finally, the gaming offered by English Harbour is not limited in the financial sense in the same way as Colorado gaming. English Harbour does not restrict its gamblers to a maximum of five dollars per bet, [36] as is required by Colorado law. [37]

15 English Harbour’s web-site offers its patrons little assurance regarding its financial integrity. Winners are told that they will be paid their winnings promptly at their request. [38] English Harbour also states that all data transferred to it is encrypted and will be secure in its transmission. [39] However, there is no information regarding whether the casino is licensed in its home jurisdiction, or whether it complies with any financial requirements set by any jurisdiction.

The casino is also unclear regarding what steps it takes to ensure the integrity of the casino’s owners and/or employees. Who is English Harbour Entertainment, Ltd.? The web-site does not provide viewers with any information regarding the stability or integrity of the owners of the casino. Further, there is no assurance provided to the customer that the casino has had to meet any strict ownership requirements as those casinos operating in Colorado must do.

One final note regarding the points of incompatibility between Internet casinos and land-based casinos. When this paper was first written in February of 1998, a different casino was discussed as an exemplar. [40] As late as December, 1998, that casino was in operation. However, shortly before this article’s publication, the casino disappeared from the Web. The transience of the Web further illustrates the incompatibility of Internet-based gambling with Colorado’s Limited Gaming Act. The regulatory scheme in Colorado is designed to help ensure that casinos are not the kind of organization that can take the customers’ money and run at a moment’s notice. The consumer who gambles via the Internet, however, is not only gambling that his or her poker hand will turn up a winner, but also that the casino will be there the next time he or she logs in.