U.S. Senator wants to fund health care with casino gambling

An increased focus on the benefits of online casino gambling regulation are expected as the Senate Finance Committee considers a proposal introduced on Saturday to use online gambling revenue to offset the costs of health care reform. The amendment offered by U.S. U.S. Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) would dedicate online gambling tax revenue generated through implementation of the currently pending Internet Regulation, Consumer Protection and Enforcement Act (H.R. 2267) to increase low-income subsidies provided through the America’s Healthy Future Act of 2009. A PricewaterhouseCoopers analysis shows that collecting taxes on regulated online gambling would allow the U.S. to capture up to $62.7 billion over the next decade.

“We applaud U.S. U.S. Senator Wyden’s proposal to collect and put to good use tens of billions in online gambling revenue that would otherwise be lost in the underground marketplace,” said Michael Waxman, spokesperson for the Safe and Secure online gambling Initiative. “The Senate Finance Committee should approve this resolution, finally putting to an end a failed prohibition on online gambling that leaves Americans unprotected and unlicensed offshore operators as the only beneficiary in a thriving marketplace.”

The online gambling Regulation, Consumer Protection and Enforcement Act of 2009 (H.R. 2267), introduced in May by House Committee on Financial Services Chairman Barney Frank (D-MA), would establish a framework to permit licensed gambling operators to accept wagers from individuals in the U.S. The legislation mandates a number of significant consumer protections including safeguards against compulsive and underage gambling, money laundering, fraud and identify theft. Additional provisions in the legislation reinforce the rights of each state to determine whether to allow online gambling activity for people accessing the Internet within the state and to apply other restrictions on the activity as determined necessary.

A companion to Chairman Frank’s legislation introduced by Rep. Jim McDermott (D-WA), the online gambling Regulation and Tax Enforcement Act (H.R. 2268), would raise revenue for the U.S. Treasury primarily through ensuring that applicable individual taxes, corporate taxes and license fees on regulated USA online casino gambling activities are collected. Without this legislation, this revenue will remain uncollected while millions of Americans gamble online without consumer protections.

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