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Wyden on Hot Streak?

9/23/09 - Roll Call

By Anna Palmer and Matthew Murray

Online gambling advocates are cheering an amendment to Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus’ (D-Mont.) health care bill. Put forward by Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), the amendment would increase low-income health care subsidies by taxing Internet gaming. Wyden’s amendment would increase the subsidies to 400 percent of the federal poverty level and lower cost-sharing.

While it’s unlikely Baucus is going to open the online gambling battle in the midst of health care reform, proponents of the measure, including the Safe and Secure Internet Gambling Initiative, are hoping it does just that.

“There aren’t many other industries asking to be regulated and taxed,” said Michael Waxman, a spokesman for the group. “We’re hoping that the committee gives full consideration to the amendment ... and has an honest conversation about why it makes sense to finally end a failed prohibition.”

Coincidentally, the group is in the middle of an online ad buy pushing for the repeal of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006.

Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) proposed legislation earlier this year that would set up a regulatory framework for online gambling in the U.S.


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