In America, the Safe And Secure Internet Gambling Initiative (SSIGI) has revealed that the Federal Government could receive over $50 billion in revenues over the next decade by legalizing and regulating online gambling.
Jeffrey Sandman, Spokesperson for the Washington, DC-based pro-gambling lobby group, stated that a recently updated PricewaterhouseCoopers analysis showed that the Government could earn $51.9 billion over the next ten years.
The SSIGI revealed that that this figure is 22 percent higher than that projected in a previous PricewaterhouseCoopers study two years ago, which reflects an increase in online gambling activities in America despite the passage of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) in 2006.
”This analysis further illustrates that the US is missing the opportunity to collect billions of dollars in Federal revenues,” said Sandman.
“We are optimistic that the Obama Administration and Congress will pay closer attention to this issue as they seek to find new revenues that can be generated without raising taxes for critical Federal, state and local government programmes.
“Regulation is also needed to ensure there are safeguards to protect against compulsive and underage gambling, money laundering, fraud and identity theft.”
Democrat Representatives Barney Frank from Massachusetts and Jim McDermott from Washington recently stated that they would be reintroducing legislation to regulate online gambling activities. In addition, they announced that their proposals would help to ensure that revenues currently lost to offshore gambling operators would be collected and remain in the United States.
Representative Frank’s Internet Gambling Regulation and Enforcement Act (IGREA) was introduced in 2007 and would, if passed, establish a regulatory and enforcement framework for licensed gambling operators. A companion bill, Representative McDermott’s Internet Gambling Regulation and Tax Enforcement Act (IGRTEA), was presented last March and sets out ways to tax these legal gambling activities.
“The current ban on Internet gambling has proved to be a failure as millions of Americans continue to gamble online each day,” said Sandman.
“It’s time for Congress to take action to regulate and tax Internet gambling to protect consumers and ensure that the US receives the billions in revenue it is due.”