Waxman Makes Internet Gambling Case on NPR
June 16, 2010 (CAP News Wire) – Aired last week and posted online today, “AirTalk,” a news show on Southern California’s NPR affiliate, 89.1 KPCV, and hosted by Larry Mantle, provided Safe and Secure Internet Gambling Initiative Executive Director Michael Waxman with the opportunity to argue for the regulation (and taxation) of Internet gambling.
“What’s happening now is that, given the freedom of the Internet, there are millions of Americans who are currently gambling with offshore companies … wagering around a hundred and six billion dollars a year … This is despite attempts to prohibit the activity,” explains Waxman, who went on to describe efforts from legislators such as Barney Frank and Jim McDermott to not only overturn the UIGEA but create a new network of protections and regulations for American online gamblers.
Not all of Waxman’s statements sync up with some of the bigger talking points in the iGaming legalization debate. He fails to correct the interviewer’s constant assertion that online gambling in the U.S. is “illegal” (the UIGEA doesn’t prohibit people from gambling online; it prohibits banks and financial institutions from processing iGaming payments).
Waxman also explains how American gamblers are “taking a risk” by gambling with offshore companies, which may be exaggerating the situation, given the solid reputation of many of the industry’s leading online gambling brands like bwin, PartyGaming, and Everest Poker.
Nonetheless, Waxman does make a strong argument for online gambling regulation in the terms that most Americans concerned about the economy will appreciate — taxation. “What we have is not only the opportunity to regulate online gambling to protect consumers but pending legislation is also looking to collect applicable taxes on the activity,” he says. “Already there are analyses which show that over 72 billion can be collected … this is a new source of revenue that is desperately needed.”
Waxman goes on to describe the different tax methods — including an interesting debate over whether player deposits would be taxed — and other applicable taxes on winnings and corporations’ operating fees. Click here to listen to the show via KPCV’s website.