U.S. could reap billions from online gambling

26 February 2009

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- As reported by Reuters: "The United States could raise nearly $52 billion in revenue over the next decade by lifting a three-year-old ban on Internet gambling and taxing the activity instead, according to a study.

"Gambling supporters hope the new analysis prepared by accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers will help propel efforts in Congress this year to repeal the 2006 Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act.

"'There is a dramatic need to have a regulated system that protects American consumers. Right now, it's the Wild West,' Jeffrey Sandman, a spokesman for the Safe and Secure Internet Gambling Initiative, told Reuters on Wednesday.

"That group includes the London-based Remote Gambling Association, which represents European online companies that lost billions in market value after Congress passed the 2006 law and they withdrew from the U.S. market.

"The legislation attempted to squash online gambling in the United States by barring businesses from knowingly accepting payments in connection with unlawful Internet gambling, including payments made through credit cards, electronic fund transfers and checks.

"But PricewaterhouseCoopers' latest estimate of how much the United States could raise from regulating and taxing Internet gambling is about 22 percent higher than it was in 2007 because U.S. online gambling has grown despite the ban, Sandman said..."

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