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US Online Gambling Bills Could Raise USD41bn In Revenue

by Mike Godfrey,, Washington

04 November 2009

US Congressman Jim McDermott (D-WA) and Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank (D-MA) are sponsoring companion bills to regulate and tax internet gambling which could raise USD41bn in the next ten years, according to the calculations of the Joint Committee on Taxation, a non-partisan congressional body.

The bills envisage decriminalizing internet poker, but continue the ban on sports betting and other forms of gambling imposed by Congress under the Republicans in late 2006.

The Joint Committee's calculations assume that tax would be charged on all deposits made by US residents with online gambling sites. The Safe and Secure Internet Gambling Initiative, which is lobbying for the ban to be lifted, has reported that the online gambling market turns over around USD100bn annually in the US.

“Given the many critical government programs currently going under-funded or not funded at all, internet gambling regulation should be given fair and immediate consideration,“ explained Congressman McDermott. “Prohibition in various guises has failed before and is failing once again. There is a better way.”

The Internet Gambling Regulation and Tax Enforcement Act of 2009 (H.R. 2268), introduced by McDermott in May 2009, would ensure the collection of tax revenue from internet gambling activity in the US.

The legislation is a companion to Frank’s Internet Gambling Regulation, Consumer Protection and Enforcement Act of 2009 (H.R. 2267), which establishes a framework for licensed operators to accept wagers and requires them to put in place various safeguards to protect consumers. The bill now has more than 60 co-sponsors from across the political spectrum.

A comprehensive report in our Intelligence Report series examining the new possibilities that offshore e-commerce open up for business, and analysing the offshore jurisdictions that have led the way in offering professional e-commerce regimes for international business, with a particular focus on e-gaming, is available in the Lowtax Library at and a description of the report can be seen at

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