How The American Privacy Rights Act Might Affect Online Casinos

In the digital age, privacy concerns have become increasingly prevalent as technology advances and personal data is collected and shared on a vast scale. The American Privacy Rights Act aims to address these concerns by providing individuals with greater control over their personal information and how it is used. With the growing influence of technology companies and the prevalence of data breaches, the need for robust privacy regulations has never been more urgent.

That said, what does this mean for the online casino industry? Here’s a quick rundown of what the American Privacy Rights Act intends to do, and how it might affect online casinos moving forward.

What Are The American Privacy Rights Act Policies?

With the American Privacy Rights Act, legislators seek to establish comprehensive privacy protections for US citizens, ensuring that their data is safeguarded from unauthorized access and exploitation.

The US Senate’s Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation offered a summary that breaks down the various tenets of the aforementioned proposal. US Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA) is the sponsor in the Senate and the chair of that committee. The summary notes:

“This measure would establish national consumer data privacy rights and set standards for data security. The bill also would require covered entities to be transparent about how they use consumer data and give consumers the right to access, correct, delete, and export their data, as well as opt out of targeted advertising and data transfers. The measure would set standards for data minimization that would allow companies to collect and use data only for necessary and limited purposes and prohibit the transfer of sensitive covered data to third parties without the consumer’s affirmative express consent. The Act would prohibit the use of covered data to discriminate against consumers and provide consumers with the right to opt out of the use of algorithms for consequential decisions.”

On that note, voters have about five months left to determine the framework of the American Privacy Rights Act for the next Congress. Nonetheless, there is both support and skepticism from legislators.

History of Privacy Rights Acts in Online Gambling

American privacy rights act policies are a set of regulations in the US that govern the gambling laws in the US. These policies cover a wide range of forms of online gaming, including online sports betting, online casino games, and online poker. The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) of 2006 prohibits certain forms of online gambling but does not explicitly outlaw online gaming altogether. It is important for individuals to be aware of their data privacy rights when participating in internet gambling activities.

In recent years, there has been a push to legalize sports betting in various states across the country. West Virginia and New Jersey was one of the first states to legalize mobile sports betting and has since seen a significant increase in revenue from this form of gambling. Additionally, the American Gaming Association has been advocating for the legalization of online casino gaming to help boost the economy and provide consumers with more options for entertainment. To date, there have been seven states in the US that have legalized online casino gaming.

Despite efforts to expand gambling options, there are still strict regulations in place, such as the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) and the Federal Wire Act, that limit the types of casino games and betting that can be offered. These federal laws aim to protect consumers from unlawful internet activities and promote responsible gaming practices.

What do the Two Sides Have To Say?

Lawmakers in Congress who have reviewed the draft showed their reluctance in supporting it in its current state. Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-CA) noted in a memo to Cantwell that she does not want a federal law to pre-empt stricter privacy standards in her state.

Other reports state that some small business owners in Cantwell’s state also have expressed concerns about the proposal restricting their trade. Meanwhile, a separate release from the Senate Commerce committee lists examples of praise for the draft from entities like Microsoft and the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law.

Meanwhile, Sen. Ben Ray Lujan (D-NM) , a supporter of the Act, is optimistic about getting the bill passed before 2024 ends. If Lujan is correct, the operators of online casinos will need their in-house counsel and other staff to look carefully over the new law’s tenets and their practices.

How This Act Affects Online Casinos

The American Privacy Rights Act defines which entities would be subject to its standards, specifically, it defined what a “large data holder” means. The bill specifies that a designation of a “large data holder” would subject businesses like online casino operators to potential prosecution if they do not comply. 

Currently, to qualify as a large data holder, an entity has to fit one of the following descriptions:

  1. An entity that collects, processes, retains, or transfers the covered data of more than 5 million individuals, 15 million portable devices, or 35 million connected devices that are linked to an individual; or the sensitive data of at least 200,000 individuals or 300,000 portable devices or 700,000 connected devices
  2. Have $250 million or more in annual revenue

Moreover, the act defines covered data as “information that identifies or is linked or reasonably linked to an individual or device” while sensitive data is “a subset of covered data that includes government identifiers.” The term “government identifiers” generally applies to anything a governmental entity uses to identify or locate a person.

On both counts, major online casino and sports betting companies like BetMGM, Caesars, DraftKings and FanDuel would qualify as large data holders. While they won’t have to seriously dig into what policies they would need to alter until the American Privacy Rights Act actually becomes law and takes effect, some likely scenarios might include a thorough review of the policies wherein operators should clearly state that they may share online casino players’ information with their partners.

The American Privacy Rights Act would not necessarily outlaw such sharing. It would require companies like BetMGM and Caesars to show that they got your consent to share specific data points with partners. As a result, more detailed consent process when registering or using an online casino should be put into place. Currently, using those gaming platforms is tantamount to consent to their privacy policies in most states.

With the talks of safeguarding a person’s online user data becoming even more important, the biggest change that might be forthcoming is arguably that instead of the user restricting the usage of their data, that responsibility could shift to the entity that would use that information in many ways.

The American Privacy Rights Act is still in its initial draft phase, and could still see revisions. Rest assured all eyes would be monitoring this Act’s development, as it is shaping up to make an impact once it begins its steps into becoming law.

Last Updated on by jonathan r

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