Internet Gambling Discussed by U.S Congress

In the United States internet gambling developments never looked rosier, since the Congressional House Energy and Committee discussed it on Tuesday 25th October. Unfortunately, Chairperson Mary Bono Mack said before these proposals could be implemented further research is necessary.

Those who pushed for the implementation and regulation of internet gambling were as follow. Despite the UIGEA internet gambling is a reality that must be addressed. Since internet gambling is not regulated in the United States many U.S-based players are wagering at offshore internet casinos. As a result they’re being exploited by these unregulated internet gambling operators and billions of dollars in potential tax revenue is lost which could benefit the American federal and state governments. Joe Barton of Texas, who proposed the regulation of internet poker said that poker is a game based on kill. Other parties who came out in strong support of internet gambling regulation are Democrat G.K. Butterfield and Poker Players Alliance chairman Alfonso D’Amato.

The state lotteries opposed internet gambling; it believes that once internet gambling is legalized players will move away from lotteries and the states will lose a large revenue source. Proponents of state lotteries said that a portion of the funds raised from state lotteries goes towards education. D’Amato hit back when he said that individuals who purchase lottery tickets generally differ from individuals who wager online and therefore it’s unfair to compare these two segments.

The social ramifications of internet gambling was addressed in the hearing as well. Keith Whyte, executive director of National Council on Problem Gambling proposed that $50 million should be kept aside to aid players who have gambling related problems. However, he stated that his organization remains neutral when it comes to the legalization of internet gambling. Dan Romer, associate director of The Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania supports internet gambling regulation. He said, “By controlling internet gambling the federal government could minimize the harm that this activity can inflict on the young and their families.”

Mack summed up the whole internet gambling debacle to date, “There’s just way too much here that has to be fleshed out to rush it and to put it into the work of the super committee. We have to find a balance of moving it and balancing the technological problems with the policy problems.” The super committee is a bipartisan committee its responsibility is to find ways how to reduce the U.S budget deficit. November 23rd is the deadline for submissions. The most convenient way to usher in a regulated internet gambling regime is to discuss this before the super committee. Experts reckon it’s pointless to conduct “further study” since it will make it virtually impossible for internet gambling to be on the super committee’s agenda.



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