With the mid-term elections ushering in sweeping changes, it’s highly unlikely that Internet gambling legislation will see the light of day under the Republican-led Congress that is set to take over in January 2011. However, online poker advocacy groups do see a glimmer of hope in the upcoming “Lame Duck” session of Congress that will last from now until the new representatives are sworn-in in early January.
One grass-roots online gaming group that is working overtime during the “lame Duck” Session is the Safe and Secure Internet Gambling Initiative which is looking to sway votes for legalizing online gaming (including online poker) by touting the benefits of the tax revenue the government will see from a legalized and regulated online gaming market.
Most estimates put the tax revenue in the $40 billion ballpark over the next 10 years, and while this will not be the decisive blow to the federal government’s $1.4 trillion deficit, at this point every little bit helps. If there was ever a chance to bring some of the less socially conservative and more fiscally conservative republicans on board this would be the time.
In a press release the Safe and Secure Internet Gambling Initiative stated: “A bi-partisan commission created by President Obama is currently working on a plan to help balance our nation’s budget – projected at $1.42 trillion for fiscal year 2009. Their recommendations, due to be released by December 1st, 2010, are being crafted in part based on testimony provided by various experts and interest groups.”
Michael Waxman, a spokesman for the Safe and Secure Internet Gambling Initiative told PokerNewsDaily.com: “While the Deficit Commission has many difficult decisions to make, putting to use the revenue generated through online gambling regulation should be a no-brainer.”
Taking the next step the Safe and Secure Internet Gambling Initiative is urging all poker enthusiasts to write to the debt commission using a form message that you can access via their website. The letter references both Barney Frank’s (D-MA) HR 2267 and Jim McDermott’s (D-WA) HR 4976 as potential legislative answers for the Internet gaming dilemma.
The form letter also points out how despite UIGEA legislation that was passed in 2006, Americans continue to wager an estimated $100 billion annually online.
Other groups that have endorsed the Safe and Secure Internet Gambling Initiative include the UC Group, Baker Tilly, eCOGRA, Secure Trading, the Remote Gambling Association, GamCare, and the European Gaming and Betting Association.
- Advocates Look to “Lame Duck” Session to Pass Online Poker Bill - August 10, 2010
- California Casinos Join Commerce Casino Opposing Online Poker - August 31, 2010
- Progress Made at Yesterday’s Online Poker Hearing in Congress - July 23, 2010
Written by Steve Ruddock on November 18th, 2010