Oregon Senator Suggest Using Internet Gaming Tax Revenues to Fund Health Care

by Lou on September 22, 2009

An increased focus on the benefits of Internet gambling regulation are expected as the Senate Finance Committee considers a proposal introduced three days ago to use Internet gambling revenue as an offset to the costs of health care reform. An amendment offered by Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) would dedicate Internet gambling tax revenue generated through implementation of Barney Frank‚Äôs currently pending Internet Regulation, Consumer Protection and Enforcement Act (H.R. 2267) to increase low-income subsidies provided through the America’s Healthy Future Act of 2009. PricewaterhouseCoopers estimates that collecting taxes on regulated Internet gambling would generate revenue of $62.7 billion during the next decade.

“We applaud Senator Wyden’s proposal to collect and put to good use tens of billions in Internet gambling revenue that would otherwise be lost in the underground marketplace,” said Michael Waxman, spokesperson for the Safe and Secure Internet Gambling Initiative. “The Senate Finance Committee should approve the resolution, finally putting to an end a failed prohibition on Internet gambling that leaves Americans unprotected and unlicensed offshore operators as the only beneficiary in a thriving marketplace.”

The Internet Gambling Regulation, Consumer Protection and Enforcement Act of 2009 would establish a framework permitting licensed gambling operators to accept wagers from individuals in the US, while mandating a number of significant consumer protections that include safeguards against compulsive and underage gambling, money laundering, fraud, and identify 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.

A companion to Chairman Frank’s legislation introduced by Rep. Jim McDermott (D-WA), the Internet Gambling Regulation and Tax Enforcement Act (H.R. 2268), would raise revenue for the U.S. Treasury primarily through ensuring that applicable individual taxes, corporate taxes and license fees on regulated Internet gambling activities are collected. Without this legislation, this revenue will remain uncollected while millions of Americans gamble online without consumer protections.

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