Online Poker

Online Poker Regulation Could Mean $41 Billion for US Government

by Poker Team

As the clock continues to tick, inching closer and closer to the official December 1st compliance deadline for the Unlawful Internet Gaming Enforcement Act, a new report just may be enough to get the attention of lawmakers and cause them to slam on the brakes. Following a calendar year which saw the US government hand out billions of dollars to struggling giants in the automotive and financial sectors, and struggling to come up with ways in which to fund healthcare reform, what once was viewed as an a drain on society, may just be the proverbial cash cow that the government has been looking for. The online poker industry may be able to provide the country the money needs to continue to reinvigorate the economy.

Why the sudden shift? A new Congressional report released late last week reveals that regulation of the Internet poker industry could result in the collecting of up to $41.8 billion over the next decade. It would be very tough to believe that politicians who are constantly looking to raise funds for their own campaigns and projects would be willing and able to turn their backs on that kind of money. After all, despite the US’s best efforts to curtain online gambling, many Americans continue to do so, lining the pockets of international companies who presently are not on the hook to give even a dime to Uncle Sam.

This report, from the Joint Committee on Taxation, was surely music to the ears of Congressional members such as Rep. Barney Frank and Rep. Jim McDermott who, between them, have authored or have been co-sponsors for various pieces of legislation aimed at regulating and taxing the industry. Their past and current efforts have sought to protect the American people through regulation while raising needed funds for the Federal and State governments.

When reached for comment, McDermott was enthusiastic, saying

“I suspect that many of my colleagues, especially those on the fence, will take more interest in this issue once they see $41 billion available that they can match up with any number of worthy programs. I would suspect it’s only a matter of time before Congress appropriately moves to regulate the industry in order to protect consumers and reverse the flow of billions of dollars currently lost offshore as Americans gamble billions online despite attempts to prohibit the activity.”

It would be misguided for government to ignore these findings. After all, a poker player wouldn’t refuse to collect a pot he or she just won.

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