Internet Gambling Regulation Bill Passes With Strong Bi-Patisan Support
Thursday, 29. July 2010

The House Committee on Financial Services took a giant step forward yesterday towards legalizing online poker with their overwhelming vote to approve Committee Chairman Barney Frank’s (D-MA) legislation, the Internet Gambling Regulation and Consumer Protection and Enforcement Act (H.R. 2267). The legislation was passed with an incredible 41-22 vote. It would regulate Internet gambling in the United States and require online gaming operators to institute safeguards to prevent problem and underage gambling.

There were a number of amendments introduced from both sides of the aisle during yesterday’s mark-up. One amendment was introduced by Representative John Campbell (R-CA), and approved by the Committee, that called for online gaming operators to require that their customers determine their loss limits prior to being able to gamble. In addition, Rep. Campbell’s amendment also required that the online gaming operators take steps towards ensuring the privacy and security of online gamers and set safeguards in place to prevent money laundering and fraud.

The legislation introduced in May 2009 by Chairman Frank called for the development of a regulatory framework in which licensed online gaming operators could accept wagers from U.S. clients. On top of all of the various consumer protections that the legislation called for, it establishes the right of each state to determine whether or not to allow online gaming for people accessing the internet from within their borders as well as the right of each state to determine any additional restrictions to online gaming within their borders as they see fit. .

The Internet Gambling Regulation and Tax Enforcement Act of 2010 (H.R. 4976) is a bill that was a companion to Rep. Frank’s bill and was introduced by Rep. Jim McDermott (D-WA) this past March. This bill calls for the collection of license fees from the relevant online gaming operators as well as taxes for all of the regulated online wagering activities.

Online gaming has experienced exponential growth over the past few years. With the significant downturn in the economy, the government has been looking towards regulating and taxing online gaming has a source of tax income. The Joint Committee on Taxation has estimated that the regulation of online gaming could potentially generate over $40 billion in tax revenue over the course of the first 10 years. In addition to the massive amount of tax revenue, H2 Gambling Capital estimates that the legalization of online gaming could generate as many as 32,000 jobs in just the first 5 years.

Legislation for the regulation and taxation of online gaming in the U.S. has drawn the support of an incredible 69 bi-partisan co-sponsors. This past week, the Financial Services Roundtable, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Federal Credit Unions all announced their support for the passed legislation.

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