Two United States Senators have a finalized a plan to regulate and tax online gambling inside a piece of proposal aimed at modifying the tax code of the country and responding to a series of tax cuts.
Should the Bipartisan Tax Fairness and Simplification Act of 2010 becomes law, which was introduced to Congress by Democratic Senator Ron Wyden and Republican Senator Judd Gregg on February 24th, 2010, will regulate online gambling and charge online gambling operators a licensing fee of two percent on all deposits in a monthly basis.
The legislation states that online gaming in the US should be managed by a strict Federal licensing and regulatory framework to protect underage and otherwise vulnerable individuals and to ensure that the games are fair and within the boundaries of gaming laws. It also enforces any limitations on the gaming activity established by Indian tribes and by the states.
A lot of the provisions in the act regarding online gaming are similar to those included in the proposal introduced in 2009 by House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank. Rep. Barney Frank proposed regulating and taxing the online gaming industry particularly online poker instead of enforcing the UIGEA (Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act).
Senator Wyden also introduced an amendment in the Senate Finance Committee to use online gaming revenue to offset the expenses of health care reform last year.
But he later pulled the proposal to focus on the health care aspect of the bill. Online gaming lobbyists from the Safe and Secure Internet Gambling Initiative are praising Wyden and Gregg's latest bill.
Spokesman Michael Waxman said that with so much media coverage on the differences between Republicans and Democrats in Congress, this bipartisan effort highlights the growing support on both sides of Capitol Hill for replacing the failed prohibition on online gambling with a system to regulate the gaming industry, protect players and produce billions of dollars in new revenue.
A Join Committee on Taxation analysis found out that regulating online gambling would produce nearly $42 billion over the next ten years. The next step for this latest proposal is to be discussed in a Senate committee.