A Giant Step for Internet Gambling - Tax Reform Bill

09 March 2010

Ron Wyden represents Oregon, a state where online gambling is illegal. He is coauthor of the bill. What does this mean for internet gambling? We will have to wait and see. But this is one big step!

ST. LOUIS, Missouri (PRWEB) March 8, 2010 — The recent inclusion of Internet gambling regulations as provisions under a new tax reform bill in the Senate signifies an important–and necessary–step for the pro-online gambling movement in Washington, DC. As discussed in a new report from I-gaming consultancy BolaVerde Media Group, history suggests that Internet gambling’s advocates on Capitol Hill are now on a track toward enacted legislation.

On February 23, US Senators Ron Wyden and Judd Gregg introduced the Bipartisan Tax Fairness and Simplification Act of 2010, a bill to simplify and reform the US tax code. The proposal includes a number of tax cuts, which the authors intend to offset by regulating and taxing Internet gambling.

“For a variety of reasons, we don’t believe this particular legislation shows a lot of promise,” BVMG Managing Director Mark Balestra explained. “However, this marks an important step for Internet gambling in Washington.

“We believe the best short-term opportunity to move a pro-Internet gambling measure at the federal level is to make it a funding component for necessary, expensive legislation, particularly as Congress faces this historic budget deficit. Not only does the tax reform bill bring I-gaming back to light in the Senate, it is the first case in which such a policy has been successfully attached to another bill.”

BVMG’s electronic report, “Internet Gambling on Capitol Hill,” demonstrates that the “piggyback” strategy had been used by opponents of I-gaming since 1998 and was executed masterfully in 2006 with the passage of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) as a subsection of an anti-terrorism bill.

The report colorfully and thoughtfully examines the history of U.S. Internet gambling policy and the politicos who have shaped, fashioned and fought the policies past and present. In doing so, it synthesizes practical analysis of Internet gambling policy in Washington today and enables the reader to better understand how current legislative developments are shaping the path for regulation in months to come.

The new report also includes insightful analysis of revenue estimates, profiles the individuals and groups with influence in Washington and explores the potential impacts on every industry sector, from land-based and online casino operators to online sports books and tribal gaming.

“Between 1995 and 2010, 19 politicians have introduced 37 separate Internet gambling bills in Congress,” Balestra said. “It’s striking to me that while there’s been no shortage of political activity, no Internet gambling bill has passed both chambers of Congress as a standalone bill, and just one – UIGEA – passed as part of an unrelated bill and signed into law.”

Read the full story and more here.