|The United States House of Representatives will look at the effectiveness of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) tomorrow at a hearing in front of the Subcommittee on Domestic and International Monetary Policy, Trade and Technology.|
The hearing, Proposed UIGEA Regulations: Burden Without Benefit?, is set to explore the effects on US financial institutions of complying with the legislation against a backdrop of mounting criticism. Although the law was intended to deter illegal Internet gambling activities, millions of Americans continue to gamble online with off-shore operators and a recent independent report from PricewaterhouseCoopers estimated that up to $42 billion could be generated in revenues from taxing online gaming over the next ten years.
The Chairman of the House Committee on Financial Services, Barney Frank, introduced his proposed Internet Gambling Regulation and Enforcement Act (IGREA) last year that would overturn UIGEA by regulating Internet gambling and require operators to establish effective safeguards to combat compulsive alongside underage gambling. IGREA has gone on to receive the support of a number of influential Congressmen including George Miller, Chairman of the House Democratic Policy Committee.
In addition, Representative Jim McDermott introduced another bill, the Internet Gambling Regulation and Tax Enforcement Act (IGRTEA), that would create a licensing and enforcement framework for regulating online gambling in the US. It would allow Americans to legally bet online while licensing and regulating operators to protect consumers from problem gambling and combat money laundering and fraud.
The Safe and Secure Internet Gambling Initiative, a Washington-based lobby group that is promoting the freedom of individuals to gamble online with proper safeguards to protect consumers and ensure the integrity of financial transactions, has endorsed both bills and its Spokesperson, Jeffrey Sandman, is expected to speak to the media tomorrow about the hearing and its findings.