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Foxwoods Ordered to Remove Internet Gambing Portal

25 Jul 2005

Las Vegas Sun

HARTFORD, Connecticut -- State regulators ordered Foxwoods Resort Casino to shut down an Internet promotion Friday, saying it violated Internet gambling laws and illegally expanded gambling off the Indian reservation.

The casino, among the world's largest, markets its "PlayAway" promotion as a way to play slots and card games from home.

The Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation Gaming Commission said it pulled the game Friday afternoon even though members don't believe there is any legal basis for a cease and desist order from the state Division of Special Revenue.

PlayAway allows gamblers to put their money down at Foxwoods, then check results online. The casino argues that it isn't Internet gambling because all the betting is done at Foxwoods.

"We certainly understand the argument," Attorney General Richard Blumenthal said Friday, "but it is clearly contradicted by their own marketing for the game."

Blumenthal said the game was a magnet for minors.

"This game has to stop," he said.

But in a letter to the Division of Special Revenue, gaming commission Chairman George Henningsen said the game was properly reviewed and approved.

He said the commission, based on a Wednesday meeting with Blumenthal, is revising publicity materials to clarify that the game is not Internet gambling. A feature will be added to the Web site that will allow users to check results without playing a game online.

Henningsen said the commission intends to restart the game Aug. 2.

Copyright © Las Vegas Sun. Inc. Republished with permission.

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