McDermott Gambling Bill Introduced

Online poker is back on the table.

Last week, the Internet Gambling Regulation and Tax Enforcement Act of 2011 was introduced by Rep. Jim McDermott (D-Wash.). The backers of the Safe and Secure Internet Gambling Initiative applauded McDermott for sponsoring the bill.

“Given the clear need to support our nation’s economic recovery, Congress should embrace this bi-partisan supported approach to regulate an industry that would spur economic growth and allow adults to do in their homes what they can already do in land-based casinos,” said Michael Waxman, a spokesperson for the Safe and Secure Internet Gambling Initiative.

The bill will provide methods by which taxes and fees can be collected from wagers placed over the internet. States can opt out if they choose, but if they do, they won’t benefit from the increased tax revenue.

The bill is meant to be a companion piece to the Internet Gambling Regulation, Consumer Protection and Enforcement Act introduced earlier this year by Rep. John Campbell (R-Calif.) and Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.). The measures would help to regulate legal poker sites that are currently ailing in the United States following the federal crackdown on major online poker rooms. The crackdown has brought to halt virtually all online poker play in the U.S.

“Regulation is the only way to protect consumers and capture significant benefits from an already thriving underground industry where all the economic benefits of the activity are lost to offshore operators,” Waxman said.