Legalizing Online Gambling: Struggle of the Politicians

What needs to be done for the good of this country’s revenue seems to be taking a backseat to the clash of Democrats and Republicans. It’s no longer about do we legalize online gambling for revenue, but about who’s in power.

And it’s a back and forth thing.

First a review. Representative Barney Frank has introduced two bills to the House. One is written to do away with the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA). The other bill is to pave the way and lay the foundation for the U.S. to have a regulated internet gambling industry. And that would mean revenue for this country, which is badly needed.

On top of Frank’s bills is one introduced by Representative Jim McDermott. McDermott’s bill is designed to set up taxation of a U.S. regulated online gambling industry.

Now comes the political power struggle.

UIGEA was supposed to go into effect in December, however, lobbying created a six month delay. Frank’s hearing for his bills was supposed to happen before the rules take effect.

So the Republicans get UIGEA created and the Democrats delay it so that their Frank could come in and try to get his bills passed, which would wipe out UIGEA and get the U.S. geared up to have its own regulation. (Republicans-1, Democrats-1)

Next, Frank’s hearing is delayed and the implementation of UIGEA is in less than three weeks. So it’s now unlikely that Frank’s bills will get passed before UIGEA goes into effect. (Republicans-2, Democrats-1).

Now here’s where it gets a bit clever. Frank is going to wait to have his hearing on his bills and McDermott’s. Why wait though? Why not fight right up until June 1st?

Think about it, if UIGEA goes into effect there will be millions of Americans who won’t be able to play their blackjack, poker and slots. They will be quite unhappy to have a preferred form of entertainment taken away “for their own good.” And in November is an election…

You see where this is going.

The Democrats are hoping that if enough online gamblers are angry enough at what the Republicans have done that it will give the Democrats the edge. With a majority, the Democrats can push through Frank’s and McDermott’s bills, opening up a source of revenue for the U.S. And giving us back our access to our blackjack, poker and slots. (Potentially, Republicans-2, Democrats-3)