Barney Frank’s bill, HR2267, which would legalize and regulate online gambling in the United States, is taking a step forward. And hopefully this means that we are one step closer to being able to play online blackjack in the States.
Tomorrow, July 27th, HR2267 moves into markup. When a bill is in markup it is discussed, amended and rewritten if necessary. In the case of HR2267 it is intended to find ways to appease those who are opposed to it. But the point of the bill is still to regulate online gambling.
If Frank can get HR2267 to pass in the House and Senate, and get it signed into law, every state would be able to choose if they would like to regulate online gambling in their state. Having regulated online gambling not only would legalize it for US citizens, and bring in much need revenue on both the state and federal levels.
How much money?
Well the Joint Committee on Taxation has figured that by legalizing online gambling and regulating it that could make about $42 billion for the government over the course of ten years. As for the states, they would be looking at about $30 billion going into their coffers.
And I do not know of a state that does not need the revenue.
But first HR2267 must overcome its opposition. It seems that the most opposition comes from religious conservatives who feel that online gambling would corrupt Americans. In response Republican Congressman John Campbell had this to say:
“I don’t gamble. I don’t partake in it, but freedom is not about legislating what I like to do. Freedom is about allowing Americans to do what they want to do.”
And in that statement, Campbell hits it on the head. Professional poker player Annie Duke was right behind Campbell, saying, “HR2267 provides this freedom in a safe and regulated environment and I urge everyone on this Committee to support this common sense policy. However, you feel about gambling on the internet, I would suggest that gambling with freedom is far more risky.”
Hopefully HR2267 on legalizing online gambling and regulating it can be moved through markup by Frank and on to the House. Americans want to play their blackjack, poker, slots and more online, and with this country being founded on freedom, why should Americans be told how to spend their entertainment money.