Regulating Online Poker: An Update

by Lou on March 21, 2011

Last week Rep. John Campbell (R-CA) introduced the Internet Gambling Regulation, Consumer Protection, and Enforcement Act (H.R. 1174), which would regulate Internet gambling and mandate safeguards to combat compulsive and underage gambling, money laundering, fraud and identify theft.  The bill’s co-sponsors are Barney Frank (D-MA), Ed Perlmutter (D-CO), and Peter King (R-NY).  Campbell’s bill is identical to the bill approved by the House Financial Services Committee last year.

“This new legislation provides a common-sense approach to better protect American consumers, create thousands of new jobs and generate billions in new revenue to support our economy,” said Michael Waxman, spokesperson for the Safe and Secure Internet Gambling Initiative.  He added, “From our perspective, it’s only a matter of time before federal regulation is approved.  And playing to our advantage is the immediate opportunity this legislative proposal brings to create desperately needed jobs, economic stimulus and new government revenue.  That’s a far better option than what is in place now – a failed prohibition that allows jobs and billions of dollars to be lost offshore.”

H2 Gambling Capital, the leading supplier of data and market intelligence regarding the global gambling industry, projected in a report released last year that regulating all forms of Internet gambling except sports wagering in the U.S., would generate a gross expenditure of $67 billion over five years and 25,470 new jobs.

At the state level, Florida’s Senate Regulated Industries Committee passed SB 712 allowing the state’s cardrooms to establish online poker rooms. Proponents of the Florida bill expect it would generate $50 million in gambling tax revenue for the state.

While the feds can’t seem to get their act together, New Jersey, California, Nevada, Florida, and Iowa are five states with some momentum going forward to regulate online, Intrastate poker.  There’s a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow in the form of regulatory fees and increased tax revenues, but the road is full of pot holes and stumbling blocks.

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