The Good Guys and Bad Guys of US Online Gambling
The bi-party political system in the United States has turned the road to regulation and legalization of online gambling into a battle arena. The US House of Representatives has witnessed countless confrontations between Democrats and Republicans regarding what the future has in hands for online gambling.
As an affiliate, this issue is of great concern as the profitability of your website hangs in the hands of those politicians as they will be drafting the legislation that rules whether US citizens are able to gamble online or not. Due to the size of the American online gambling market, the same legislation will also determine where the international online gambling market is headed and what affiliates should do to be a part of it.
Elephants and Donkeys Don’t Always Get Along
Statistics based on votes casted for or against the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) around the time of the 2008 elections state that the House of Representatives had 110 Democrat Representatives and 15 Republican Representatives who were supportive of online gambling. On the other hand, there were 17 Democrat Representatives and 114 Republican Representatives who were against the legalization and regulation of online gambling. The trend has not changed much for the upcoming elections, but there have always been a few Republican Representatives who have surprised us by proposing bills pro-online gambling (bottoms up to Rep. John Campbell (CA) and Rep. Joe Barton (TX)).
Personally, I am not a big fan of politicians in general, but when it comes to online gambling it is the Democrats who have generally casted a positive vote to push our little online gambling trolley. For example, Rep. Barney Frank (MA) has been a great leader in support of online gambling. Other supportive figures in the Democrat party are Rep. Shelley Berkley (NV), Rep. Steve Beshear (KY), Rep. Jim McDermott (WA), Rep. Robert Wexler (CA), and Rep. Julia Carson (IN).
The Republican side of the House has not been as supportive of online gambling as we’d like them to be — and I would like someone to please elaborate on why that is, given that there are billions of dollars of tax revenue being lost to offshore operators while online gambling remains in a legal limbo in the United States.
But Sometimes Big Ears and Clumsy Attitudes Do Bring Them Together
Unfortunately, determining whether online gambling should be legal or illegal in the United States has turned into a political circus. The principles of individual liberty and freedom sometimes get lost in the discussion of who’s right and who’s righter at the House of Representatives.
However, there are times when there are Republican Reps who understand the potential of online gambling to boost the US economy and to bring endless amounts of revenue to the Federal Government. Some other times, when we are even luckier, Republican and Democrat candidates will let go of their political affiliation a little bit, and come together to propose bills for the regulation of online gambling. This was the case of Rep. Barney Frank and Rep. John Campbell to propose HR 2267, even though the bill still has some work to do, it has done great progress at the House and the outlook on it remains positive. The online gambling industry as a whole is hoping to see more of this fraternizing among our politicians in order to decide what is most beneficial for US citizens.