Safe and Secure Internet Gambling Initiative leader Michael Waxman recently submitted a letter to Congressman Darrell Issa of California, outlining the need to regulate online gambling in the U.S.
The letter was a response to a general request from Issa for business leaders to “let him know how Washington could help taxpayers and entrepreneurs secure the right to succeed and grow in the United States,” per PokerNews.com.
Republicans now lead the House of Representatives; they were elected on a mandate to fix the budget and to combat what they see as President Obama’s runaway spending.
So, the chance to regulate online gambling should, theoretically, fit perfectly into their plans.
“That’s all that poker players, the iGaming industry, and U.S. casinos have been asking for when it comes to Internet poker in the United States,” the PokerNews article adds. “The right to succeed and grow.”
According to the letter, Internet gambling is thriving in the U.S., in spite of the UIGEA (the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006). That means that government regulations are needed to “provide consumer protections, create jobs in the U.S. and provide tax revenue.”
It’s still an uphill battle, however. Rabid anti-online gambling congressman Spencer Bachus now controls the House Financial Services Committee; that job used to belong to pro-online gambling legislator Barney Frank, who was unable to implement new online gambling laws over the past few years.
Still, with more and more lawmakers and pundits coming around to the benefits of regulated online gambling, Waxman’s letter could have more of an impact in 2011 than it would have in 2010. The year is young, and the economy is in trouble; with some luck, the UIGEA could be modified during this legislative calendar before the states regulate online gambling first.
“Movement on the state level is a very positive sign, showing legislators in other stats and at the federal level that Internet gambling should be and can be effectively regulated,” Waxman said in the PokerNews article. “Each state that opens up their market, that is more freedoms for online gamblers, more jobs that are going to be created and more economic development, which is definitely needed.”