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For Immediate Release
Contact: Michael Waxman
(202) 872-0010 or (202) 872-4860
(Washington, D.C. – October 29, 2009) As Congress considers how to pay for health care reform and other critical programs, a Joint Committee on Taxation analysis released today by Rep. Jim McDermott (D-WA) found that regulating Internet gambling, as proposed in pending legislation introduced by Representatives Barney Frank (D-MA) and McDermott, would generate nearly $42 billion over 10 years. The analysis is based on the provision of a federal license for operators that would allow them to offer online gambling throughout the United States, while maintaining existing federal prohibitions on any form of sports betting.
“This analysis further reinforces the fact that a regulated environment will generate billions in new revenue to offset the costs of health care reform or other vital government programs,” said Michael Waxman, spokesperson for the Safe and Secure Internet Gambling Initiative.
“With the completed analysis, and support for Internet gambling regulation growing daily, it’s only a matter of time before Congress acts and begins allocating the billions in new revenue sitting on the table to one program or another.”
The opportunity to generate billions in new revenue is especially significant because of a congressional rule that any piece of legislation must either be budget neutral or offset with identified savings.
“We believe this tax revenue analysis will encourage immediate discussions and consideration of pending legislation to regulate Internet gambling,” added Waxman. “With everyone acknowledging that attempts to prohibit the activity have failed, this provides even more incentive for Congress to act.”
House Committee on Financial Services Chairman Frank has announced his intent to hold a hearing and markup in the coming months on his legislation, the Internet Gambling Regulation, Consumer Protection and Enforcement Act of 2009 (H.R. 2267). Since its introduction in May, a bipartisan group of more than 60 co-sponsors has signed onto the bill.
Chairman Frank’s legislation would establish a framework to permit licensed gambling operators to accept wagers from individuals in the U.S. It mandates a number of significant consumer protections including safeguards against compulsive and underage gambling, money laundering, fraud and identity 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.
Rep. McDermott’s companion bill, 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 and corporate taxes and license fees on regulated Internet gambling activities are collected. Currently, this revenue remains uncollected while millions of Americans wager online more than $100 billion annually without consumer protections.
The Joint Committee on Taxation analysis is available here.
About Safe and Secure Internet Gambling Initiative
The Safe and Secure Internet Gambling Initiative promotes the freedom of individuals to gamble online with the proper safeguards to protect consumers and ensure the integrity of financial transactions. For more information on the Initiative, please visit
www.safeandsecureig.org. The Web site provides a means by which individuals can register support for regulated Internet gambling with their elected representatives.