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Online Casino Regulations Gaining Traction

Politicians continue to consider regulations and oversight for the ever expanding online casino gambling industry. Rep. Jim McDermott (D-Wash.) is pushing Rep. Sander Levin to schedule a markup session for the Internet Gambling Regulation and Tax Enforcement Act of 2010 (IGRTA). Rep McDermott’s tax bill is a companion bill to Rep. Barney Frank’s legislation that would create a licensing and regulatory framework for online gambling. Frank’s bill was passed by the House Financial Services Committee last month.

Even though Levin, who chairs the House Ways and Means Committee, has not decided if McDermott’s tax bill should be marked up and passed, another powerful Democrat has indicated for the first time that he is willing to consider limited online gambling legislation.

The Reno Gazette-Journal reported that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is willing to support legislation that would regulate online poker, and only online poker. Reid told casino executives of his new position at a meeting last week. This would be the first time Reid has publicly supported any form of online gambling. He is also the highest ranking Democrat to support a form of online gambling.

Frank’s bill takes on a more expansive view of online gambling than Reid does, his legislation would license online poker, online casinos and online bingo, but sports betting would still be illegal.

You may ask why such strong opposition to online gambling, well internet gambling makes it difficult to track the flow of money. Therefore the government would have a tough time collecting taxes. Although land based casinos are legal in certain areas of the U.S., online are not. Regulations continue to become more rigorous as time goes on.

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