Online Poker

New Poker Bill - S 3018, The Bipartisan Tax Fairness and Simplification Act

by Poker Team

After several weeks of inactivity, poker legislation officially returned to the bargaining table with the announcement of new legislation being introduced before Congress. This new bill, named S 3018 the Bipartisan Tax Fairness and Simplification Act was introduced by Senators Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Judd Gregg (R-NH). Of importance to the online poker community, this bill seeks to provide a set of guidelines for the taxation and regulation of internet gambling.

When asked for comment, Michael Waxman said:

“With so much media focus on the differences between Democrats and Republicans in Congress, this bipartisan initiative highlights the growing support on both ends of Capitol Hill for replacing the failed prohibition on internet gambling with a system to regulate the industry, protect consumers, and generate billions in new revenue. We applaud Senators Wyden and Gregg for taking the initiative to address and drive this issue.”

In fact, this bill stands out because it attempts to reach across party lines to arrive at a compromise before getting debated on the Senate floor, a point that has caused several previous bills to fail before.

S 3018 not only for Online Gambling

It should be stated that the bill is not only for online gambling. Rather, it puts a great emphasis on addressing mainstream tax breaks, specifically the elimination of the Alternative Minimum Tax and consolidating the number of income tax brackets to 3, 15%, 25% and 35%. There is also a lengthy discourse in the bill explaining how this would work.

In regards to online poker, the bill solicits some of the same language of Congressman Barney Frank’s HR2267 Bill, the Internet Gambling Regulation, Consumer Protection, and Enforcement Act, which has already rounded up 65 co-sponsors. It is the hope of Senators Wyden and Gregg that the appealing bits from Frank’s bill will make theirs easier for Congressional members to digest and perhaps make for a clearer ride through the lawmakers.

This new bill also has the endorsement of the Poker Players Alliance, whose director John Pappas commented,

“We’re pleased with it. The prospects of this legislation are unclear. This is a sign of things to come, perhaps seeing internet gambling being added as pay-for in other bills.”

Perhaps this will be the breakthrough legislation that online gamers and online poker players have been hoping for.

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  • John

    I’m very pessimistic that congress can actually get through any legislation that’s not a complete slam dunk (i.e. that the Republican super-minority doesn’t support). I hope I’m wrong.

  • bzn5150

    So… if this went through, then that paves the way for them to tax online poker, right? Not sure how I feel about this… I mean, legally, we are supposed to claim poker winnings, but how would it offset losses? I’m wary of it.

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