Everybody is out of moneyThu, 09 Oct 2008 09:24
It seems like it has been a while since any good news has come out of either Wall Street or Washington when it comes to finances. Everybody is out of money, and lawmakers are scratching their heads wondering how to get more and solve the problems that we have. Last week New Jersey senator Robert Menendez introduced S.3616, otherwise known as the Internet Skill Game Licensing and Control Act. It's the first time a member of the Senate has ever introduced legislation that relates to online poker. It is welcomed news that follows last month's ruling in Congress to clarify and define *unlawful Internet gambling,* because few people are able to answer the question. Robert Menendez wants to legalize and regulate online gaming - opening the doors for operation in the United States. Regulation brings a sense of security to the players who know the government will force businesses to operate on the square. The government stands to benefit in the form of taxation. A study by PricewaterhouseCoopers estimated that the online poker industry could generate over $40 billion in taxable revenue over the next 10 years in all areas from income tax, wagering tax, licensing and corporate income tax. (The study also noted that there is the potential for $17.6 billion in taxes per year if every state in the U.S. gets on board). Many major online sites have already gone on the record, stating that they would move business operations to the United States as soon as they were legally allowed to do so. The current stance toward online poker allows a floodgate of money to leave U.S. borders. The odds are that nothing will happen this year, but the good news is that poker regulation talk is starting to get a lot louder in Washington. Combine Menendez's push for regulation with the continued work of the Poker Players Alliance and congressman Barney Frank (one of poker's true advocates in Washington), and there is reason for hope. It should also be noted that Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama is an avid poker fan. He used to play regularly in his home state of Illinois. That's something to chew on.