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Online Casino News - August, 2009

New Jersey Senator Introduces Online Poker Legislation


  Seed Newsvine

by Edward Rogers, News Staff Writer

August 6, 2009

While the New York State Attorney General's Office continues extorting online gambling revenue that it says was stolen from New York State to begin with, more high ranking U.S. government officials are opening up to the idea of - even supporting - legislation to effectively regulate online gambling in the United States. Hoping to supersede current legislation - namely the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) - which only seeks to ban certain forms of online gambling, while providing protectionist laws for other forms of wagering, regulatory proponents are pushing a number of varied bills onto the Congressional floor.

The latest US elected government official to do so is Senator Robert Menendez of New Jersey. Introducing legislation that would tax and regulate online poker, Senator Menendez joins a growing cadre of politicians who are much more willing to tax online gambling than just a couple of years ago. Interestingly enough, Senator Menendez's proposal came on the same day of the New York State Attorney General's arrest and indictment of online poker entrepreneur, Douglas Rennick for processing some $350 million in online poker bets.

Obviously, online gambling continues to take place in the States. Unhindered by the UIGEA, U.S. facing online gambling businesses will inevitably continue taking bets from U.S. citizens, not to mention finding ways around current attempts to block financial transactions. Even with the occasional high profile crackdown, the demand and supply will always be there. Those government officials who are aware of this reality, not to mention the reality of the U.S. economy right now, are taking a closer look at the feasibility of effectively regulating online gambling, while inhibiting the spread of problem and underage gambling.

While Senator Menendez isn't necessarily proposing to regulate all forms of online gambling, he is attempting to tackle the largest sector of the internet betting industry, which is online poker. Using many of the same guidelines carried out in the UK, where online gambling is indeed legalized, Menendez's bill calls for imposing a 10% tax on all player deposits, that would be shared between the Federal government and State government in which the bettor resides.

Another bill on the House Floor - this one calling for the regulation of online casino gambling, poker and everything else other than sports betting - was introduced by House Rep. Barney Frank, and has received a steady show of support by prominent members of Congress. Also expected to support Frank and Menendez's bills are the financial institutions that have ironically been burdened by the UIGEA to develop ways of identifying different types of online gambling transactions.



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