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Momentum growing for a shift in US policy

August 4, 2009 2009

There are now 50 members of Congress who have signed on as co-sponsors of the Internet Gambling Regulation, Consumer Protection and Enforcement Act (H.R. 2267), a legislation introduced by Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA), chairman of the House Committee on Financial Services.

Jeffrey Sandman, spokesperson for the Safe and Secure Internet Gambling Initiative, said that momentum is growing for a shift in US policy and a rewrite of US Internet gambling laws.

“We also expect an increased spotlight on Internet gambling as a way to augment federal revenues and help cover the cost of necessary policy initiatives,” he said.

Among the bipartisan group of 50 co-sponsors are many senior ranking representatives, including George Miller (D-CA), chairman of the Committee on Education and Labor; John Conyers (D-MI), chairman of the Committee of the Judiciary; Charles Rangel (D-NY), chairman of the Committee on Ways and Means; Edolphus Towns (D-NY), chairman of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform; Pete King (R-NY), ranking member of the Homeland Security Committee; and Ron Paul (R-TX), vice-chairman of the Oversight and Investigations subcommittee.

The list of supporters will continue to grow as more representatives are educated on the subject and increasingly hear from their constituents that Internet gambling regulation presents the only viable way to protect consumers, since attempts to prohibit the activity have completely failed, said Sandman.

Rep. Frank’s bill would establish a framework to permit licensed gambling operators to accept wagers from individuals in the U.S. and mandates a number of significant consumer protections, including safeguards against compulsive and underage gambling, money laundering, fraud and identifying theft.

Additional provisions in the legislation reinforce the rights of each state to determine whether to allow Internet gambling activity for people accessing the Internet within the state and to apply other restrictions on the activity as determined necessary. The legislation also would allow states and Native American tribes with experience in regulating gambling to play a role in the regulatory process.

It is estimated that collecting taxes on regulated Internet gambling would allow the US to capture much-needed revenue in an amount ranging from $48.6 billion (excluding online sports gambling) to $62.7 billion (including online sports gambling) over the next decade.


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