Finally, Big Money US Gaming Operators Putting Pressure On Congress To Regulate Online Poker

CapitalAccording to Bloomberg.com, MGM, Harrah’s and other US casino operators are stepping up their efforts to have Congress legalize online gambling.

Just as Wicked Chops Poker has stated over and over again, the gaming operators are finally pressing Congress to keep the $12 billion online wagering business on US soil by legalizing, regulating and taxing it.

Some legislators are starting to see the light. Senator John Ensign (R-NV) said, “The argument the industry is making is, if it is being done offshore, why not bring it in to the U.S. so it can be regulated?… It doesn’t look like you can ban it.”

As Michael Bolcerek, head of the PPA, stated in our heads-up interview with him recently, much of the push to ban online gaming in the US has come from the Jack Abramoff backlash. Representative Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) has made significant progress in pushing through his legislation, which looks to amend the 1961 Wire Act so it includes online gambling. However, according to the Bloomberg.com article, Matthew Gerard, a gaming industry analyst at Investec Securities in London, says, “Ultimately, we think it will be very, very difficult to get any prohibitive legislation through the Senate.”

The casinos, through their lobbying organization (the American Gaming Association), are in the process of conducting a study to determine if “legalization, regulation and taxation of online gambling would reduce the risk of fraud and abuse and increase government revenue.” Regardless of the findings, the association still projects that the online gambling revenues will double to “about $24 billion a year in global revenue by 2010.”

 

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