Billions in Revenue and Thousands of New Jobs from Internet Gambling Regulation

by Lou on May 31, 2010

Reps. Barney Frank (D-MA) and Jim McDermott (D-WA) [pictured right] testified today before the House Committee on Ways and Means on the ability to effectively regulate online gambling in order to protect consumers, collect tens of billions in new government revenue, and create tens of thousands of new jobs in the US.

The primary focus of today’s hearing was Rep. McDermott’s Internet Gambling Regulation and Tax Enforcement Act of 2010 (H.R. 4976), which would generate as much as $72 billion in new revenue over ten years for federal and state governments. Today’s hearing also sets the stage for continued movement on companion pieces of pending legislation introduced by Reps. Frank and McDermott that would regulate the industry and ensure applicable taxes and license fees are collected.

“Today’s witnesses clearly articulated why Congress should give fair consideration to regulating online gambling activity as a way to protect Americans, stimulate the economy by creating tens of thousands of new jobs and profit from the collection of tens of billions of otherwise lost revenue,” said Michael Waxman, spokesperson for the Safe and Secure Internet Gambling Initiative. “Upon hearing today’s testimony and acknowledgment that current attempts to prohibit online gambling have failed, it simply makes sense for Congress to address this issue and take control of the thriving underground marketplace.

“With our national unemployment rate at more than 10 percent and all but six states anticipating budget shortfalls for the 2011 fiscal year, this legislation is a win-win,” said Waxman. “It’s not every day that the opportunity to generate billions of dollars and creates tens of thousands of jobs comes along. Congress should seize the opportunity that this legislation presents and move forward in regulating Internet gambling.”

Chairman Barney Frank’s (D-MA) Internet Gambling Regulation, Consumer Protection and Enforcement Act of 2009 (H.R. 2267), a companion to Rep. McDermott’s legislation, sets forth how operators would receive licenses to accept wagers from individuals in the U.S. Among the conditions for licensure, the legislation mandates licensed operators to adopt a range of substantial consumer protections, including safeguards to protect the young and the vulnerable.

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