Gaming leaders are looking at leveraging the release of a feature film that depicts the seedier side of illegal Internet poker to raise awareness of the need for proper regulation of online wagering.
American Gaming Association President Geoff Freeman, in an email to the organization’s board of directors last week, said the Oct. 4 release of “Runner Runner” presents the Washington-based lobbying group an opportunity to state its case for Congress to pass regulations governing Internet gaming in the United States.
The movie, which stars Ben Affleck and Justin Timberlake, centers on illegal offshore Internet poker and the cheating of U.S. gamblers. According to the plot summary on IMDb.com, Affleck portrays an online gambling tycoon in Costa Rica who is confronted by Timberlake’s Princeton graduate school student who believes he’s been swindled by the website.
“This film provides our industry with an opportunity that the AGA will capitalize upon,” Freeman said. “The AGA will leverage the certain coverage this film will receive to raise awareness about the need for proper regulation of online gaming.”
Freeman, who became the association’s president in June, said tactics could include releasing research data on the amount of illegal Internet gaming that is estimated to be taking place in the U.S.