No company will register information that could be used by prosecutors, Gold said.

Protecting established operations

Analysts say any federal laws restricting online gaming would just be protecting the established U.S. EST (1649 GMT)

ATLANTA (CNN) — As March Madness takes hold, college basketball fans across the United States are beginning to predict the outcome for their favorites of the 64 teams vying for the National Collegiate Athletic Association title.

College students are reportedly the fastest growing sector of gamblers, and the Internet provides an array of “virtual casinos” willing to take bets.

From the comfort of his dorm room, this student, and some of his peers, wager as much as $1,000 a day on sporting events, including college basketball games.

Anyone with a credit card and access to a computer modem is just a click away from gambler’s heaven.

“Even if you win, you have no idea if you’ll be paid off,” notes U.S. About 90 percent of their customers are based in the United States.

State Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Arizona.

“You have this expectation of potentially making money, which is thrilling for someone like me,” one Harvard graduate student, who wishes to remain anonymous, told CNN.. They also have little recourse if they are scammed.

“People that have the hot dog stand already set up don’t want to see another one set up around the corner,” Anthony Curtis, a gambling expert, told CNN.

“There is no integrity, because of a lack of law enforcement and regulatory control,” Frank Fahrenkopf of the American Gaming Association told CNN.

“I think there are substantially more serious criminal legal issues confronting the United States today than whether adults voluntarily want to go online to place a bet,” attorney Ben Brafman said.

On Wednesday, the New York Senate passed a bill requiring off-shore gambling companies to register with the state if they intend to do business with New Yorkers.

Internet casinos are booming, having grown from 15 to 140 in just a year. Sen. citizens who own or manage six cybergambling sites were arrested and charged with violating that law.

Most of the online casinos are based in the Caribbean, and licensed by local governments. Emmanuel Gold called the bill a farce and said it made state officials “look like the biggest fools in the country.”

It’s also a prime concern for U.S. government should spend its time on more serious issues.

It’s prime time for excitement and prime time for gamblers.

His proposed legislation would make cybergambling a federal offense, punishing operators with up to a $20,000 fine and four years in prison. The online sports betting industry is expected to take in an estimated $600 million in gross revenues this year. gaming industry.

Gambling Web sites encourage online players to pay by credit cards, wire transfers or cashiers checks, or to create off-shore accounts. But aside from paying money and placing bets, consumers have virtually no control over the gaming activities. officials trying to crack down on a growing Internet industry: gambling Web sites.

March 12, 1998

Web posted at: 11:49 a.m. Experts predict that total could grow tenfold within three years.

Correspondent Charles Zewe and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

An attorney for one of the online casino owners charged last week said the U.S. Bettors could face a $2,500 fine and six months in jail.

Senator says proposed New York law ineffective

Federal prosecutors already are using a 1961 law banning gambling over telephone lines to crack down on online gaming operators.

But enforcement is a contentious issue.

From statehouses to Congress to the Department of Justice, officials are clamoring for ways to regulate a global business that some say is ripe for corruption.

‘There is no integrity’

Even gaming officials are worried that online casinos may drag down the gaming industry.

Last week, 14 U.S