CULTURE Secretary Tessa Jowell will seek an international agreement today on how to regulate the internet gambling industry.
Ms Jowell is opening the first international summit to discuss the global impact of the massive industry, which already boasts one million regular punters in this country.
She is expected to urge delegates to think globally to ensure that children and vulnerable people are protected from "remote gambling" by telephone or online, that games are fair and crime is kept out.
But her attempts have already been thwarted by Washington's refusal to send a delegation to the summit, to be held at Ascot Racecourse in Berkshire.
Ms Jowell has already warned that the US ban on internet gambling could fuel a rise in unregulated offshore sites.
There is currently such a ban in force in Britain but new legislation will do away with it next year, clearing the way for super casinos and an influx of online gaming businesses.
Speaking ahead of the conference, which is expected to draw delegates from more than 30 countries, Ms Jowell said that under
the new UK laws, online operators registering in the UK have a "social responsibility" duty written into licences and policed by the independent Gambling Commission watchdog.
It requires them to work to prevent underage gambling, give prominent warnings about addiction and inform users how much time and money they have spent on the site.
Ms Jowell has acknowledged that the sharp increase in internet gambling was a matter for concern.
"This is a potential global problem and we must act together globally in the interests of our citizens," she said.