We are all familiar with the real estate saying “Location, Location, Location” with legislation the saying is “Timing, Timing, Timing”. Will this be the right timing for the legalization, licensing, taxing, and regulation for online gaming? We can all hope so.
It seems each week we hear of more politicians willing to put their vote behind bill HR 1174. To date it has 28 co-sponsors with representatives from both major political parties. We could see more bills attached to HR 1174: Internet Gambling Regulation, Consumer Protection, and Enforcement Act such as HR 2230 which specifically addresses the taxation of the gaming industry and has three sponsors. Future attachments could outline legalizing, licensing, and regulation. Republican Joe Barton of Texas is preparing a bill that would establish a new federal regulatory agency to oversee the websites. HR 2366: To establish a program for State licensing of Internet poker, and for other purposes. This bill has eleven cosponsors. But this bill would only apply to online poker. Our government officials seem to be motivated at this time with stimulating the U.S. economy and a H2 Gambling Capital study showed that online gaming could bring billions of tax dollars in the first five years and add 25,000 much needed jobs to the U.S. market.
California, Florida, New Jersey, District of Columbia, Pennsylvania, and Iowa are all looking at how to make online gaming profitable for their depleted state coffers. Allowing their residents to gamble through state lottery web sites or allowing residents to gamble online through tribal casinos, are only two ideas that are in discussion. A bill already signed by Nevada’s governor directs the Nevada Gaming Commission to prepare regulations and grant licenses to casinos so they can be ready when the federal government approves online gaming. Many states are anticipating that the federal government will pass legislation that legalizes and regulates online gaming and each state wants to ensure they will get their taxes from their residents.
We hope to see momentum pick up as more elected officials see that their constituents do indeed want to have the choice to gamble in their own homes. One way to get momentum started is by contacting your elected officials and to let them know where you stand on these pieces of legislation. You can call their office, send them an email or meet with them face to face. If you are a member of Poker Players Alliance they will usually contact you via email when important policies are being brought up.
The U.S. gaming community is in need of good news and though legalizing and regulating online gambling may take some time, what we are seeing now is a move in the right direction. We will continue to monitor news from all fronts and report the facts as we get them.