US House Panel to Examine Online Gambling
A special panel in the US House of Representatives is examining online gambling among other avenues for generating additional tax revenues and cutting the US debt.
The House Energy and Commerce Committee is currently looking at various online gambling proposals, including launching online casino and poker sites on both a state and federal level.
"The purpose of this hearing is to examine the status of Internet gaming in the United States and to consider how consumers and other stakeholders would be affected if current legal restrictions were eased," read a memo sent to members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.
Witnesses for the hearing include those in favor of regulating and taxing online gambling in the US (including the Poker Players Alliance) as well as witnesses on the other side if the ledger that oppose it such as the National Council on Problem Gambling.
Former US Senator Al d'Amato will be at the hearing but not in his normal role, as he's now serving as a representative for the Poker Players Alliance, and one of the more vocal advocates of launching legal online poker sites in the US.
"Congress should finally clarify the laws governing Internet gambling"
In opening remarks d'Amato pointed out the Americans can gamble in many different forms currently (including buying lotto tickets online and betting on horse racing) but they cannot play poker -- a very common offering in many casinos around the US.
"Along with legislation to license Internet poker, Congress should finally clarify the laws governing Internet gambling and create effective enforcement against whatever is illegal," said d'Amato.
Other politicians such as Ron Paul have also come out in favor of online gambling but for reasons more aligned with personal liberties, with Paul claiming earlier in the year that: "The ban on Internet gambling infringes upon two freedoms that are important to many Americans, the ability to do with their money as they see fit, and the freedom from government interference with the Internet."