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Poker News | Gambling and the Law

Online Gaming Regulation Could Add 32K Jobs and Billions in Revenue Dollars

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There have been numerous studies to demonstrate the amount of revenue that could be generated for the federal government through the legalization and regulation of online gaming. The latest study, conducted by H2 Gambling Capital, shows the most impressive numbers yet, with online gaming having the potential to not only generate $94 billion in gross expenditures in the first five years alone, but the industry could create up to 32,000 jobs in the United States.

This most recent study was produced by H2 Gambling Capital, a data and market intelligence information supplier for the worldwide gambling industry, and its results were released on April 20, 2010. The economic assessment took a look at the possibilities surrounding legalized, regulated, and taxed internet gambling in the United States market, specifically per Rep. Barney Frank’s Internet Gambling Regulation, Consumer Protection and Enforcement Act and Rep. Jim McDermott’s companion bill, the Internet Gambling Regulation and Tax Enforcement Act.

Should Frank and McDermott’s bills pass as written, including sports betting, the study concluded that internet gambling could generate up to $94 billion in total gross expenditures and $57.5 million in tax revenue in the first five years. And the business would create nearly 32,000 jobs. Even if sports leagues are successful in removing their industry from the legislation before passage, the numbers indicated $67 billion in gross expenditures and $30.8 billion in revenue in the first five years, with approximately 25,470 jobs created.

H2 Director Simon Holliday concluded, “The regulation of internet gaming provides a unique opportunity to legislators in the current economic climate, names the opportunity to instantaneously create jobs and support economic growth while protecting consumers and reducing the budget deficit. This study should provide further incentive for the Obama Administration and Congress to act quickly to regulate internet gambling. Furthermore, the current situation where United States players use offshore sites causes billions of dollars to leak out of the economy each year and leaves tens of thousands of players without any onshore regulatory protection.”

Michael Waxman, spokesperson for the Safe and Secure Internet Gambling Initiative, added, “This analysis further reinforces the fact that a regulated environment will pay dividends throughout the economy. With unemployment nearing 10 percent, this study sends a clear message to policymakers that internet gambling regulation is a common-sense way to immediately stimulate the economy, create close to 32,000 jobs and raise billion in much-needed new government revenues.”

The clock is ticking for Congress to act on internet gaming, as the June 1, 2010 deadline looms, for on that day, the full scope of the UIGEA and its regulations will go into effect. Frank’s bill has gained the most traction of all that have been introduced in the past several years, and with 65 sponsors and a successful committee hearing in December of 2009, it should undergo the markup process and find a forum in another committee. However, these processes have been put on hold in recent weeks with no explanation or further word.

The release of the H2 study only reinforces the views of those in support of pro-gaming legislation but increases the numbers from what was previously calculated. With the U.S. government in such desperate need of revenue, it would make sense to, at the very least, instigate an intelligent discussion on the issue of online gaming.

To contact members of Congress and express an opinion on the issue, visit the Safe and Secure Internet Gambling Initiative website or the Poker Players Alliance. Both sites provide easy access to members of Congress . The millions of voices of the poker industry matter only if they’re heard on a national scale.

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