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Rep. McDermott's online gambling bill lauded

26 Mar 2010

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- (PRESS RELEASE) -- The Safe and Secure Internet Gambling Initiative applauds Representative Jim McDermott (D-WA) for the planned introduction today of an updated version of the Internet Gambling Regulation and Tax Enforcement Act of 2010, which would ensure that taxes and fees are collected from wagers placed over the Internet in order to raise much-needed revenue for federal and state budgets. The most significant change from earlier versions of the legislation is a provision that allows each State and Tribal Government to be paid six percent of all deposits placed in their jurisdiction with online gambling operators. This provision, combined with other applicable taxes, would generate an estimated $30 billion or more in new revenue for the states and tribal areas over 10 years. In addition, the legislation would apportion 25 percent of the federal revenue, estimated by the Congressional Joint Committee on Taxation at nearly $42 billion over 10 years, to provide assistance for those in foster care.

"This legislation is a win-win for federal and state leaders, providing an opportunity to regulate a currently off-shore and underground industry, protect consumers and put to good use tens of billions in otherwise lost revenue," said Michael Waxman, spokesperson for the Safe and Secure Internet Gambling Initiative. "At a time when many policy makers are faced with significant budget shortfalls, it is only common sense to choose regulation that will generate new revenues and create new jobs currently offshore as an alternative to layoffs, program cuts or imposing broad-sweeping taxes that may further depress struggling families and businesses."

As all but six states face anticipated budget shortfalls for the 2011 fiscal year budget, many states, including California, New Jersey, Florida and Iowa have already begun to explore options to bring regulated Internet gambling to their jurisdictions in the absence of federal movement on this issue.

Representatives Barney Frank (D-MA), Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, John Larson (D-CT), Chair of the House Democratic Caucus, and Earl Blumenauer have signed on as an original co-sponsor of the Internet Gambling Regulation and Tax Enforcement Act of 2010.

As before, Representative McDermott's legislation is meant to serve as a companion to the Internet Gambling Regulation, Consumer Protection and Enforcement Act of 2009 (H.R. 2267), legislation introduced by Chairman Frank that would permit licensed operators to accept wagers from individuals in the U.S. In addition, Chairman Frank's legislation would mandate a number of significant consumer protections and reinforce the rights of each State and Tribal Government to determine whether to allow online gambling activity for people accessing the Internet within their borders and to apply other restrictions on the activity as necessary. More than 65 co-sponsors have announced their support for Chairman Frank's bill.

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