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Regulating Online Poker a Contentious Issue

US Federal Government Prohibits Online Gambling

US Federal Government Prohibits Online Gambling

The United States is one of the few nations that doesn’t allow online gambling. Onerous regulations placed against the online gambling industry make online poker illegal in the US, despite the efforts of lobbyists, legislators and supportive constituents to free up the industry from the ban. According to several different sources, lobbyists for the gambling industry are spending a lot of money trying to persuade legislators to swing their way. One of the most contentious issues within this issue itself is how to regulate online gambling.

State or Federal?

There is enough disagreement about whether or not online gambling should be illegal that state legislators have begun looking at the issue themselves. For states that are strapped for cash, online gaming is a potentially useful source of revenue that could alleviate a lot of their problems. Gambling opponents argue that regulating online gambling would simply be too difficult, due to the global nature of the Internet. Of course, this argument by opponents of online gaming is something of a red herring, considering that US gamers are free to use online gaming services located in other nations, and quite frequently do.

The issue with legislators in state governments is whether or not legalizing online poker and other games within their states is a viable solution. Opponents claim that it would be impossible to prevent entities such as Indian casinos from offering the games across state lines and, therefore, violating federal law. Again, these games are already available across international boundaries, much less state lines, so it’s difficult to see what would be different about the situation, excepting the fact that the states would collect revenue from online gaming and that gamers would be able to patronize businesses located in the United States rather than using casinos located overseas.

The Value of Regulation

It’s no secret that a lot of United States residents love online poker and other games. To play these games now, they have to make use of casinos located in other parts of the world. While there are plenty of good establishments out there that make this a safe activity, it’s still a hassle compared to how convenient it would be to work with casinos located in the same nation.

Advocates for online gaming claim that allowing the US government to regulate the gaming industry would prevent corruption, fraud and other problems that cannot be currently controlled by the US government due to the outright ban. There are two federal bills being debated at present. One of them would legalize online poker and the other would legalize all forms of Internet gaming. If either bill were approved, advocates argue that the government would get a much-needed source of revenue without having to add additional taxes to people’s incomes and that the gaming industry would get some much needed supervision from regulators that can ensure everything is on the up and up for participants.

Online gaming, despite the efforts of lobbyists and advocates, still faces strong opposition from some members of Congress and some anti-gambling organizations.

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Posted by on Jan 3 2012. Filed under Poker Legal News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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