For Immediate Release
Senator Proposes Use of Internet Gambling Revenue to Help Fund Health Care Reform
(Washington, D.C. – September 21, 2009) An increased focus on the benefits of Internet gambling regulation are expected as the Senate Finance Committee considers a proposal introduced on Saturday to use Internet gambling revenue to offset the costs of health care reform. The amendment offered by Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) would dedicate Internet gambling tax revenue generated through implementation of the currently pending Internet Regulation, Consumer Protection and Enforcement Act (H.R. 2267) to increase low-income subsidies provided through the America's Healthy Future Act of 2009. A PricewaterhouseCoopers analysis shows that collecting taxes on regulated Internet gambling would allow the U.S. to capture up to $62.7 billion over the next decade.
“We applaud Senator Wyden’s proposal to collect and put to good use tens of billions in Internet gambling revenue that would otherwise be lost in the underground marketplace,” said Michael Waxman, spokesperson for the Safe and Secure Internet Gambling Initiative. “The Senate Finance Committee should approve the resolution, finally putting to an end a failed prohibition on Internet gambling that leaves Americans unprotected and unlicensed offshore operators as the only beneficiary in a thriving marketplace.”
The Internet Gambling Regulation, Consumer Protection and Enforcement Act of 2009 (H.R. 2267), introduced in May by House Committee on Financial Services Chairman Barney Frank (D-MA), would establish a framework to permit licensed gambling operators to accept wagers from individuals in the U.S. The legislation mandates a number of significant consumer protections including safeguards against compulsive and underage gambling, money laundering, fraud and identify 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.
A companion to Chairman Frank’s legislation introduced by Rep. Jim McDermott (D-WA), 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 taxes, corporate taxes and license fees on regulated Internet gambling activities are collected. Without this legislation, this revenue will remain uncollected while millions of Americans gamble online without consumer protections.
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.