The United States 112th Congress will have to deal with the issue of internet gambling in 2011. The country is in a tough financial position caused by an expensive, decade long war, President Obama’s socialist shopping sprees and high unemployment decreasing the tax base. Taxes from a licensed online gambling industry could easily improve America’s financial situation, while creating social programs. Such a double edged approach should easily be enough to collect enough votes to amend American gambling laws to permit online-gambling this year.
Congressman Barney Frank, D-MA and fellow congressman John Campbell, R-CA, rarely, if ever, vote the same way on any piece of legislation and their political views cannot be further apart. The only issue both congressmen, from opposing political parties, agree on, is the legalization, licensing, regulation and taxation of internet casinos and online gamblers.
During the 111th Congress both congressmen unsuccessfully attempted to introduce separate legislation to legalize online gambling. Last year, Congressman Frank’s ‘Internet Gambling Regulation, Consumer Protection, and Enforcement Act’ passed at the committee level but was not discussed on the House floor and was deemed “dead” when the last Congressional session ended.
At the same time, Congressman Campbell attempted to amend HR2267 to introduce language regarding online casino in United States server location, minimum age of online gamblers, identity verification process, posting of odds, identification of unlicensed casinos and loss-limit requirements. By a voice vote the amendment was approved, but no floor vote took place before the end of the 111th congress, and HR2267 was also declared “dead”.
During the 2 month old session of 112th Congress, Campbell and Frank have not yet come up with a new online gambling bill. John Pappas of the Poker Player Alliance, the main Capitol Hill lobbyist of online American poker rooms, commented – ‘It is welcomed and exciting news that Congressman Campbell intends to introduce a bill that would license internet poker in the U.S., he is as sensible conservative who understands the benefits of a regulated market rather than the policy of failed prohibition.’
Mr. Pappas also added that the Poker Player Alliance is currently educating the 100+ newly elected members of Congress about the benefits of repealing the prohibition of online gambling. The US government is currently 3 trillion dollars in debt, unemployment is close to 10%, the war is very expensive, the dollar is weak and hundreds of billions of dollars are needed to cover President Obama’s two year long spending binge on socialized medicine and failed job creation initiatives. Most industry analysts predict a major move this year to repeal the prohibition of online gambling or face the possibility of a decrease in credit ratings of USA treasury bonds.