Lawmakers Hold Hearing On Internet Gambling


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The House Committee on Financial Services held a hearing Wednesday to discuss regulating Internet gambling in the U.S. and establish safeguards for licensed operators to put in place to protect against underage and problem gambling.

"With the recent passage of financial reform legislation, it's great to see the Financial Services Committee now with the opportunity to focus its attention on other issues such as Internet gambling regulation", said Michael Waxman, spokesperson for the Safe and Secure Internet Gambling Initiative.

Committee members heard testimony from representatives of the financial services, tribal and poker communities who spoke in support of regulating Internet gambling. 

Annie-Duke Ed Williams, member of the Board of Directors of the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) spoke of the challenges faced by financial services companies who are forced to comply with burdensome rules in an attempt to prevent unlawful Internet gambling transactions. 

Williams testified that the Internet Gambling Regulation, Consumer Protection and Enforcement Act would promote "regulatory simplicity while assisting financial institutions compliance with UIGEA."

Professional poker player Annie Duke testified about the consumer safeguards and revenue potential under the legislation. 

Duke said American poker players "want to play on sites licensed in the United States, which will provide for even greater consumer protections for the player and yield badly-needed tax revenue for state and federal governments."

According to a tax revenue analysis conducted by the Joint Committee on Taxation, regulated Internet gambling is expected to generate nearly $42 billion in revenue for the federal government over its first 10 years. Estimates suggest that it would also generate as much as $30 billion in new revenues to the states and would create up to 32,000 jobs over its first five years.