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  • Interesting Read

    Saw this in my local paper the other day. I think Barney Frank is a doofus, but I actually agree with him on this. :goodjob:
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    House effort would legalize, tax online gambling
    Monday, April 26, 2010 2:51 AM
    By Michael Beller

    Medill News Service

    WASHINGTON - Americans looking to satisfy their gambling itch can do so now at the close to 1,700 casinos across the country. A bill in the House of Representatives could bring casino gambling to the approximately 86.8 million American homes with Internet access.

    Reps. Barney Frank, D-Mass., and Jim McDermott, D-Wash., are leading a group that proposes to repeal the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, which is set to go into effect June 1. Their plan would legalize and tax online gambling.

    "We have an activity going on illegally in this country and we're pretending it doesn't exist," McDermott said. Internet gambling "people have said 'We want to be legal and we're certainly willing to pay taxes,' and we need the money. On every count, this is a net positive."

    The bill calls for a 6 percent tax on all deposits to be paid to state and tribal governments made by residents of their jurisdiction. For example, if someone living in Missouri puts $1,000 into an online gambling account anywhere in the country,

    $60 would go to Missouri's state government.

    Additionally, 2 percent of all deposits would go to the federal government. The congressional Joint Committee on Taxation estimated the bill would generate $30 billion for state and tribal governments and $42 billion for the federal government during the next 10 years.

    Along with much-needed funds, Frank made a libertarian argument supporting new legislation.

    "American adults want to be able to do what they want with their own money without the government interfering," Frank said.

    Opponents of Internet gambling are lining up to oppose Frank and McDermott in the House.

    Last week, a Republican memo tying jailed lobbyist Jack Abramoff to online gambling made its way around Capitol Hill. Professional sports leagues are against the bill because they think it will expand wagers placed on their games.

    Other influential groups, such as the nonprofit conservative Christian organization Focus on the Family, are firmly against any extension of legal gambling.

    Chad Hills, policy and research analyst for Focus on the Family, said addictive gambling is already a problem in America and passage of this legislation would only exacerbate that problem.

    "This basically creates a national casino, and there's no time they won't be operating," Hills said. "We already have between 15 and 20 mil-

    lion people in the U.S. with a pathological gambling problem."

    Frank, the chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, plans to get a vote this spring, and he is confident the House will pass the bill. There is no companion bill in the Senate, but Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., introduced a similar bill in August.

    Casino operators see the online gambler as a completely different beast from the gambler who will spend a night or a weekend at the tables. That means an untapped source of revenue is out there.

    Under the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, banks are required to monitor credit-card transactions to ensure that none are going to offshore gambling websites.

    The Medill News Service is a Washington program of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.

  • #2
    It'll be interesting to see how things play out. Hopefully sports betting gets included. Often times these guys talk about regulation, but moreso for poker and casino.
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