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Study looks at potential online gambling revenues

6/2/2008
Representative Jim McDermott has announced a new tax revenue analysis, prepared by PricewaterhouseCoopers, that estimates that regulating online gambling would generate between $8.7 to $42.8 billion in federal revenues over its first ten years.

“Before us is a tremendous opportunity to protect consumers and recoup billions of dollars that should be collected by the Internal Revenue Service,” said Representative McDermott. “These are revenues that are desperately needed, given that we are at war and face difficulty financing the nation's priorities.”

Representative McDermott introduced the Internet Gambling Regulation and Tax Enforcement Act (H.R. 2607), which would tax regulated Internet gambling.

“To be clear, these are not mostly new taxes -- the bulk of the revenues generated would come from taxes required under existing law,”" said McDermott. “This is simply a framework to collect taxes on existing activity that is currently unregulated, unsupervised, and underground.”

Despite the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA), millions of Americans are still able to gamble online, which does not indicate much success. In addition, American Bankers Association, Credit Union National Association, Financial Services Roundtable, and other leading financial services companies and groups have criticised the proposed rules by the Treasury Department to implement the current prohibitions.

“Instead of this ineffective attempt to prevent adults from gambling over the Internet, we need a more sensible approach to protect consumers and ensure that revenues that now flow offshore stay here in the U.S. and are therefore subject to taxation,” added McDermott. “A new, safer, more sensible approach is needed to regulate Internet gambling and protect consumers.”

McDermott's legislation will serve as a companion bill to the UIGEA, legislation introduced by Representative Barney Frank, providing a licensing and enforcement framework for regulated Internet gambling in the U.S.

Stephen Holder
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