Plan to Tax Online Gaming to Finance Healthcare Reform Just Not in the Cards

by Lou on September 27, 2009

Last week I blogged about Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) introducing an amendment to Barney Frank’s bill that sought to legalize and tax online gambling to help pay for healthcare reform.

But it wasn’t long after that Wyden’s staff said the senator did not want to introduce additional controversy into the healthcare debate. As a consequence, he pulled his amendment—which would have taxed online gambling to pay for heath insurance subsidies—from consideration.

“It’s a great idea,” Barney Frank said. “Why should we leave all that money untaxed?”

But this amendment would only serve to rile up the opposition, primarily conservative Christian groups that believe legalized online gambling harms family life and values.

But the financial implications strongly support Wyden’s amendment, and a PriceWaterhouseCoopers analysis estimates that an Internet gambling tax would rake in $62.7 billion in new revenue over the next 10 years.
Frank’s bill, which won’t go anywhere in 2009, now has 58 co-sponsors. Most are democrats but the list also includes Republicans representatives Pete King (N.Y.) and Ron Paul (Texas).

My gut feel is that UIGEA will eventually be repealed or otherwise neutered, but I wouldn’t bet on that occurring in the near future.

{ 1 comment }

Dayne Gingrich October 2, 2009 at 9:32 pm


Just read your article in Poker Player about the $10/20 game. I TOTALLY disagree w/ your advice there… and am actually very surpeised.

First, he absolutely MUST raise in that game w/ 99 EP. That point wasn't even brought up, but isa such a critical piece- could've made all future decisions much easier (definitely different post than how it was played).

Second, as played… he MUST raise now or call flop and raise safe turn! FOLDIN IS 100% out of the question!!!

As a limit player, I'm ver disappointed to read that advice. I play up to $40/80 in L.A., and am in these loose games regularly. I have many friends learning to play low limit games like that, and would hate for them to play that passively.


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