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Two senators introduce online gambling legislation

23 Feb 2010

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- (PRESS RELEASE) -- The Safe and Secure Internet Gambling Initiative applauds the introduction of legislation today by Senators Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Judd Gregg (R-NH), the Bipartisan Tax Fairness and Simplification Act of 2010, which includes provisions to legalize, regulate Internet gambling.

"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," said Michael Waxman, spokesperson for the Safe and Secure Internet Gambling Initiative. "We applaud Senators Wyden and Gregg for taking the initiative to address and drive this issue."

Provisions in the Bipartisan Tax Fairness and Simplification Act of 2010 to regulate Internet gambling are similar to those included in the Internet Gambling Regulation, Consumer Protection and Enforcement Act (H.R. 2267), introduced last year by House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank (D-MA). Similarly, Chairman Frank's bill has attracted a bipartisan group of 65 co-sponsors, including Representatives John Conyers (D-MI), chairman of the Committee of the Judiciary Pete King (R-NY), ranking member of the Homeland Security Committee George Miller (D-CA), chairman of the Committee on Education and Labor.

Senator Wyden previously introduced an amendment in the Senate Finance Committee to use Internet gambling revenue to offset the costs of health care reform. That amendment was not brought to a vote, given the decision by the Committee to limit revenue provisions to matters closely related to heath care.

A Joint Committee on Taxation analysis found that regulating Internet gambling, as proposed in companion pieces of pending legislation introduced by Chairman Frank and Representative Jim McDermott (D-WA), would generate nearly $42 billion over 10 years for the U.S Treasury. The analysis is based on the provision of a federal license for operators that would allow them to offer online gambling throughout the U.S., while maintaining existing federal prohibitions on any form of sports betting.

 
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