September 24, 2010 (CAP News Wire) – Despite a positive surge forward this summer as Barney Frank’s online gambling bill, H.R. 2267, or the Internet Gambling Regulation, Consumer Protection, and Enforcement Act, gained initial support in Congress, supporters are increasingly pessimistic about the chances of passing the proposed law seeking to legalize and regulate online gambling in the United States this year.
The issue continues to generate headlines. The Wall Street Journal recently ran an article examining what the future of the online gambling business world may hold. “With the U.S. government facing fiscal challenges, moves to legalize aspects of online gambling have started to gather pace,” writes Ishaq Siddiqi. “On July 28, the Internet Gambling Regulation, Consumer Protection, and Enforcement Act passed the House Financial Services Committee, meaning it could be voted on in the full House. Congress’s Joint Committee on Taxation estimates that legalized online gambling could raise more than $40 billion in new tax revenue over a decade.”
“It’s a matter of when it will happen, not if it will happen. It would be regulated, first at state level,” the article quotes Bill Lerner, an analyst at Union Gaming in Las Vegas.
Perhaps, but the pace is still slow.
“Rep. Barney Frank’s (D-Mass.) bill to legalize online gambling is facing some long odds,” writes Kevin Bogardus at The Hill. “Frank said last week that it’s unlikely the bipartisan measure, which has cleared his Financial Services Committee, will hit the House floor before the midterm elections. That puts the legislation in some serious trouble, especially because the House has been leading the charge on this issue.”
There is time, though — if Congress doesn’t get to the iGaming bills in September, they could address the issue when they return after Thanksgiving.
“Congress adjourns on Oct. 8, but Poker Players Alliance executive director John Pappas expects the representatives to return the week after the Nov. 2 elections for an extended session,” according to PokerNews.com.
“In past experience, they’ve worked all the way through Thanksgiving and through Christmas eve when I worked on the Hill,” Pappas told the site. “I wouldn’t expect anything different this time around. They have a lot of bills that need to be taken up. They don’t have the appropriation bills done. The lame-duck session is going to happen. It’s a necessity, no question about it.”
Whether or not it happens this year, online gaming regulation seems inevitable. And support for new laws continues to come in from all quarters.
“The Internet, which started one of the greatest social changes in the history of humans — a portal without boundaries of geography or time, has also made gambling easier than ever,” writes Peter Vogel for the e-Commerce Times. “However, due to its underground nature, Internet gambling probably causes more problems and costs more money than it is worth.
“So it is time for the U.S. government to acknowledge that Internet gambling is here to stay, and regulate it in a way that gives it some degree of control.”