Online Poker Regulation Bill Introduced into US Senate
On August 6th, U.S. Senator Robert Menendez of New Jersey introduced the Internet Poker and Games of Skill Regulation, Protection and Enforcement Act, legislation that would allow federally-regulated online poker and other games of skill. The legislation is designed to raise revenue while protecting families. Estimates have shown that more than $3 billion in annual revenue can be raised by licensing and regulating Internet poker.
“Pulling Internet poker out of the shadows and into the light of the law, we have the opportunity to help our economy while protecting our families,” said Menendez. “By bringing these games of skill into the mainstream, we can generate billions in revenue for businesses and the Treasury during these tough times. The safety benefits of the bill are particularly crucial. Parents are worried about their children falling prey to illegitimate gaming sites and thousands of Americans have been fleeced of millions of dollars by these sites. With proper regulation, we can prevent minors from playing poker online, crackdown on predatory operations, and sanction the legitimate ones.”
Menendez’s plan would add a 10 percent tax on all deposits at online poker rooms, to be split between state and federal governments.
Menendez’s bill is comparable to the earlier House bill introduced by Rep. Barney Frank, except that Menendez’s plan would apply only to online poker and games of skill, whereas Frank’s bill would regulate all Internet gambling other than sports betting.
Analysts anticipate that the new legislation will be strongly supported by financial institutions, who have been tasked with filtering online gambling transactions from their customers accounts, which places additional burdens on an industry already strained under increasing regulation and political scrutiny.
Read more from Senator Menendez’s press release.