Current laws pertaining to Internet gambling are ineffective, inconsistent and are an unnecessary government intrusion into the private lives of Americans. Traditional forms of gambling are legal in nearly every state and, despite attempts to prohibit the activity, millions of Americans continue to find a way to gamble online given the freedom of the Internet.
Rather than tell Americans what they can and cannot do online in the privacy of their homes, the government should regulate Internet gambling to ensure proper consumer protections are in place and in order to capture billions in new revenue to fund critical government programs.
Internet Gambling Regulation, Consumer Protection and Enforcement Act (H.R. 2267)
Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) introduced legislation on May 6, 2009 that would establish a regulatory and enforcement framework for licensed gambling operators to accept bets and wagers from individuals in the U.S. The bill would put in place practical and enforceable standards to bring transparency to Internet gambling and provide consumers the protections they expect and deserve. A slightly modified version of this bill was previously introduced in 2007.
Internet Gambling Regulation and Tax Enforcement Act of 2010
Introduced by Rep. Jim McDermott (D-WA) as a companion to Rep. Frank’s bill, this bill would ensure that taxes and fees are collected from wagers placed over the Internet in order to raise much-needed revenue for federal and state budgets. The most significant change from earlier versions of the legislation is a provision that allows each State and Tribal Government to be paid six percent of all deposits placed by residents of their jurisdiction with online gambling operators. This provision combined with other applicable taxes, would generate an estimated $30 billion or more in new revenue for the states and tribal areas over 10 years. In addition, the legislation would apportion 25 percent of the federal revenue, estimated by the Congressional Joint Committee on Taxation at nearly $42 billion over 10 years, to provide assistance for those in foster care.
The Reasonable Prudence in Regulation Act (H.R. 2266)
The Reasonable Prudence in Regulation Act, introduced by Rep. Frank on May 6, 2009, would delay for one year required compliance with the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 (UIGEA) regulations, which sought to limit the ability for Americans to gamble online. Representatives of the financial services industry, including the Chamber of Commerce and Financial Services Roundtable, have expressed concerns about the burden and ambiguity in the rules to implement UIGEA which require the financial services sector to identify and block unlawful Internet gambling transactions.
Bipartisan Tax Fairness and Simplification Act of 2010 (S. 3018)
Introduced by Senators Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Judd Gregg (R-NH) on February 23, 2010, the Bipartisan Tax Fairness and Simplification Act of 2010, includes provisions that would legalize, regulate and tax Internet gambling. The bill’s Internet Gambling language is similar to the Internet Gambling Regulation, Consumer Protection and Enforcement Act (H.R. 2267), introduced last year by House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank (D-MA).
Internet Poker and Games of Skill Regulation, Consumer Protection and Enforcement Act of 2009 (S. 1597)
Introduced by Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) on August 6, 2009, the Internet Poker and Games of Skill Regulation, Consumer Protection and Enforcement Act of 2009would allow poker and other “skill” games like chess, bridge, mah-jong and backgammon to be played online in a regulated environment. Included in the legislation are provisions that require licensed operators to collect taxes on all deposits, which would be split between federal and state governments, and provisions to protect consumers against underage and compulsive gambling and fraud. While there are similarities to the Internet Gambling Regulation, Consumer Protection and Enforcement Act (H.R. 2267), introduced in the House by Rep. Frank, the legislation is limited to games such as poker that the legislation defines as games of skill and would not allow for casino games and other types of wagering activity online.