Citing a recent analysis of online gambling revenue performed by prominent auditing and assurance firm PricewaterhouseCoopers, U.S. Representative Jim McDermott (D-WA) has urged Congress to again consider formal regulation of online gambling. Rep. McDermott distributed copies of the PricewaterhouseCoopers analysis to all members of Congress earlier this week.
The PricewaterhouseCoopers report suggests that if the U.S. were to regulate online gambling, the federal and collective state governments would generate between $8.7 billion and $42.8 billion in tax revenues in the first ten years of regulation. "Before us is a tremendous opportunity to protect consumers and recoup billions of dollars that should be collected by the Internal Revenue Service," said McDermott. "These are revenues that are desperately needed, given that we are at war and face difficulty financing the nation's priorities."
McDermott is the author of the proposed Internet Gambling Regulation and Tax Enforcement Act (H.R. 2607), which was designed as a regulatory and tax mechanism and is often described as a 'companion' bill to Barney Frank's IGREA [Internet Gambling Regulation and Enforcement Act]. Frank's bill has to date received more press and has generated more co-sponsors, but neither bill is on a fast track to becoming law at the present time.
McDermott noted in a release accompanying the distribution of the reports that U.S. regulation would in fact redirect back into U.S. government coffers online revenues that are at the present time flowing offshore. "To be clear, these are not mostly new taxes — the bulk of the revenues generated would come from taxes required under existing law," said McDermott. "This is simply a framework to collect taxes on existing activity that is currently unregulated, unsupervised, and underground."