U-Turn for US Casinos on online gaming issue

Home > News > 1 Nov 2010

The legalisation of online gaming has been a hotly debated subject over recent months and shows no signs of being resolved any time soon.
However, some of America's leading gaming firms have pledged their support to see a regulated online gaming industry after changing their stance on the legalisation issue. Initially, many of the principal leaders in the industry, including Harrah's, MGM Mirage and Las Vegas Sands were against the legalisation of online gaming amid fears that the web-based competition would divert revenue from the bricks and mortar casinos. But, in the face of declining revenues for these casinos, some executives have reviewed their position and have begun lobbying lawmakers to repeal previous restrictions.

The American Gaming Association has confirmed in a statement that its member casinos are currently drafting a proposal for lawmakers to review. The lobbying arm of the casino industry went on to advise that in that proposal, the group will outline how they see the various facets of online gaming becoming legalised, regulated and perhaps most importantly from a government perspective, taxed.

With the economic recession not likely to lift any time in the near future, the tax revenues that would be generated by regulating online gaming are looking increasingly attractive. Congressman Barney Frank authored a bill that would regulate online gaming and allow gaming sites to establish a presence on US soil.
At present, online gaming is still illegal and the UIGEA, which became law in 2006, prohibits US-based banks from conducting transactions with offshore gaming web sites. Last week, the Washington State Supreme Court upheld a law that made internet gaming a felony.

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