McDermott Launches IGRTEA
By Staff
In America, Washington Congressman Jim McDermott has introduced his Internet Gambling Regulation and Tax Enforcement Act (IGRTEA), which seeks to support fellow Democrat Barney Frank's Internet Gambling Regulation and Enforcement Act (IGREA) by collecting taxes on regulated online gambling activities.

According to a recent tax revenue analysis prepared by PricewaterhouseCoopers, revenues from online gambling in the United States over the next decade could reach as high as $42.8 billion and the Seattle politician wants to apply existing taxes to an activity currently illegal under the Bush Administration’s Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA).

'To be clear, these are not mostly new taxes as the bulk of the revenues generated would come from taxes required under existing law,' said the Representative in a letter circulated last year to all members of Congress.

'This is simply a framework to collect taxes on existing activity that is currently unregulated, unsupervised and underground.'

The latest version of IGRTEA strengthens provisions from an earlier proposal introduced last year and includes enhanced reporting mechanisms that would see licensed gambling operators required to provide each customer an annual statement of winnings and losses.

McDermott’s IGRTEA would also require online operators to pay a two percent licensing fee designed to equalise the costs to operators of providing gambling services over the Internet.

'Before us is a tremendous opportunity to protect US consumers and recoup billions of dollars that should be collected by the Internal Revenue Service,' said McDermott.

'These are revenues that are desperately needed given that we are at war and face difficulty financing the nation's priorities.'

McDermott's legislation will serve as a companion bill to IGREA, which would see Internet gambling operators licensed by the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network and required to ensure customers placing bets are physically located in jurisdictions permitting online gambling.

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