The government creeps into action
After a traumatic year and a half for online poker FINALLY Congressman Barney Frank (D-MA) (chairman of the House Committee on Financial Services) will host an early April hearing ‘…to explore the burden on US banking and financial institutions…’
Sure! The ‘burden’ on us as players isn’t significant enough to shoot this turkey – the UIGEA. The banking business has to be the aggrieved party to get anything done, right?
Worse, the government is going to want to be paid billions for changing the laws back to the way they were before lame duck Senator Bill Frist (R-TN) slipped an anti-gambling bill into law on the last hour of the 2006 legislature.
"The banks have a lot of other things to worry about right now," said Frank, referring to the mortgage crisis and other challenges. "I do not think poker should be one of them." Really! Where were you when we needed you?
"Rather than waste valuable resources attempting to enforce the Act, the US should instead regulate and tax internet gambling," said Jeffrey Sandman, spokesman for the Safe and Secure Internet Gambling Initiative in a press release.
So how much does the government want to undo the damage they’ve already done?
From a PricewaterhouseCoopers study: Taxation of Internet gambling is expected to generate between $8.7 billion and $42.8 billion in federal revenues over its first ten years.
Online poker is already a big deal for players around the world. It looks like the process is finally starting for online poker to become a big deal for the United States government.
In the oddest of twists, all of us who wanted government out of our lives are (on this issue) asking for regulation. Will we be sorry we asked?
Good luck to Congressman Frank and his committee.
BTW, offhand, who do you think will be paying all those billions of dollars?
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