Since 2008, Rep. Jim McDermott has offered legislation to tax and regulate online gambling. He’s at it again this year with the introduction of a new bill that would, once again, attempt to allow U.S.-based online gambling.
McDermott’s Internet Gambling Regulation and Tax Enforcement Act of 2011 (H.R. 2230) would ensure that taxes and fees are collected from wagers placed over the Internet. The bill is designed to raise revenue for federal and state budgets.
According to a report released last year from The Safe and Secure Internet Gambling Initiative, regulating all forms of Internet gambling except sports wagering in the United States would generate a gross expenditure of $67 billion over five years and 25,470 new jobs.
As reported by the The Washington Current, Michael Waxman, spokesman for the Safe and Secure Internet Gambling Initiative said, “Given the clear need to support our nation’s economic recovery, Congress should embrace this bi-partisan supported approach to regulate an industry that would spur economic growth and allow adults to do in their homes what they can already do in land-based casinos…There is simply not a reasonable argument that can be made for keeping a failed prohibition in place, unless you are simply interested in imposing your moral beliefs on others. Regulation is the only way to protect consumers and capture significant benefits from an already thriving underground industry where all the economic benefits of the activity are lost to offshore operators.”
According to a press release from the Safe and Secure Internet Gambling Initiative, McDermott’s 2011 legislation is meant to serve as a companion to the Internet Gambling Regulation, Consumer Protection, and Enforcement Act (H.R. 1174), which was introduced earlier this year by Rep. John Campbell (R-Calif.). This bill, which includes language that’s identical to what was overwhelmingly approved last year by the House Financial Services Committee, would implement practical and enforceable standards to control Internet gambling activity and protect consumers.