US moves closer to legalising online gambling
A bill that would legalise and regulate the online gambling industry and allow online casinos to operate in America is making (slow) progress towards being enacted. The bill – H.R. 2267 – to “provide for the licensing of Internet gambling activities by the Secretary of the Treasury, to provide for consumer protections on the Internet, to enforce the tax code, and for other purposes” has managed to attract 65 co-sponsors in the US House of Representatives to date.
With 435 representatives in the House, Representative Barney Franks, is still some way off a majority, but has continued to add supporters for his bill at a steady rate since it was introduced on 6th May 2009. There are other obstacles that would need to be overcome – the bill would need to get past an equivalent vote in the Senate and avoid a Presidential veto – which could be a possibility given some of the quotes attributed to President Obama on the subject in the past.
The Bill has been seen as a tempting route to increasing tax revenues in the current economic climate. According to the American Gaming Association’s website, legalised gambling is a $50 billion industry (this measure uses the amounts earned by the casinos, rather than the gross amounts wagered) which has the potential to raise significant additional tax dollars.