New Bill for Regulating Online GamblingBy: Adam Richards, Thursday February 25th 2010
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A new bill has been introduced in the United States for the legalization and regulation of online gambling. Actually the bill is for the wider subject of tax reform but contains provisions for regulation of Internet gambling. Ironically the UIGEA, which seeks to ban online gambling, was introduced as a part of the Safe Ports Act.
The bill known as the Tax Fairness and Simplification Act of 2010 has been introduced by Senators Judd Gregg and Ron Wyden. Comparisons with Barney Frank’s Internet Gambling Regulation, Consumer Protection and Enforcement Act will be made. Frank introduced his bill in the House of Representatives, whereas the new bill has been introduced in the Senate. Both bills enjoy bipartisan support. Though Frank is a Democrat, his bill enjoys support from Republicans like Peter King and others. In the case of the new bill Gregg is Republican and Wyden is Democrat. The main issue is that the intention in both bills is to legalize online gambling, provide a regulatory framework for it and to generate tax revenues from it. Both bills seek to supersede the UIGEA.
The main focus of the Tax Fairness and Simplification Act of 2010 is to reduce the cost and effort on filing tax returns. The bill estimates that almost $200 billion could be saved in this exercise. The bill also seeks to reduce and taxes on Americans earning $200,000 or less annually. It proposes to make up this loss in tax revenue by taxing online poker and casino gambling. A recent official study estimated that the government could earn $42 billion in tax revenues over the next ten years if Frank’s anti-UIGEA bill is passed. But before this can be done online gambling will need to be legalized and regulated.
The Safe and Secure Internet Gambling Initiative is an organization that promotes the freedom of individuals to gamble online but with safeguards to protect consumers and ensure safe financial transactions. It is also a one stop source on online gambling legislation. Its spokesperson Michael Waxman lauded the efforts of Senators Wyden and Gregg. Waxman said, "With so much media focus on the differences between Democrats and Republicans in Congress, this bipartisan initiative highlights the growing support on both ends of Capitol Hill for replacing the failed prohibition on Internet gambling with a system to regulate the industry, protect consumers and generate billions in new revenue."
Now that there are anti-UIGEA bills in both the Senate and the House, hopefully this issue will move ahead faster. The legislators in favor of legalizing online gambling are chasing the deadline of June 1, 2010 when the UIGEA rules will go into effect.
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