Congressional Study on Online Gaming Urged

by Lou on May 24, 2006

The American Gaming Association (AGA) issued a white paper on current U.S. policies about online gaming, suggesting that a Congressional study commission address the issue in the United States.

The author, David O. Stewart, noted that the current policy of prohibition drives Internet gambling business to foreign entities while, “the current regime also ensures that no jobs are created for American workers, no returns are earned by American companies, and no tax revenues are paid to American governments.”

“A study commission approach,” according to Stewart, “could develop an effective, comprehensive legislative approach that would address the complex and often conflicting policies now in place, as well as the general confusion about the legal issues surrounding Internet gambling.”

On the heels AGA’s call for a congressional committee to study online gambling, brick-and-mortar casinos are increasingly considering entering the online gambling business.According to the big land-based casino brands, the best way to control the $12 billion Internet betting business is through a program of legalization, regulation, and taxation.”If it is being done offshore, why not bring it in to the U.S. so it can be regulated? It doesn’t look like you can ban it,” says Sen. John Ensign, (R-NV).

That’s what U.S. casinos are seeking with their proposal for a federal study. Frank Fahrenkopf, a former Republican national chairman who heads AGA, says the study’s purpose would be to determine if legalization, regulation and taxation of online gambling would reduce the risk of fraud and abuse and increase government revenue.

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