US Online Gambling Bill In Light of ElectionsPublished November 2, 2010 by OCR Editor
2nd November results crucial for online gambling.
Let's not kid ourselves, the results of the mid-term elections today are all about the economy and not about online gambling. However, the regulation of the US online gambling industry will be heavily affected whatever the result.
The future of Barney Frank's HR 2267 bill, which strives to reverse the contentious Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA), will be caught up in the aftermath of the elections.The Balance of Power
The bill is more likely to progress in a House of Representatives with a Democratic majority. Election predictions however, have the Republicans clawing back a majority which could make it harder for the bill to get through.
Gaming Analyst Steve Schwartz commented, "The only chance that the online gambling laws change in the next couple of years is if it happens during a lame duck session in Congress. A Republican-lead House will not overturn the work of a former Republican Congress."Persuading the 'Undecided'
But what if the bill does surface for discussion? Although some politicians have come down on one side of the fence or the other, plenty of others are still undecided.
Any future debate would not only cover the social pros and cons of regulating online gambling but would also focus on the$42 billion USD in tax revenues that are predicted from a regulated online gaming industry over the next 10 years. With government coffers in dire need replenishment the vote may ultimately hinge on financial and not social considerations, and the 'undecided' could just swing the vote.The Road Ahead
If the Republicans make the predicted gains during the mid term elections the road to a regulated online gambling industry will get rocky ahead. However, there is still a window of opportunity for the bill to be read during the lame-duck session and even to be attached to wider legislation that is more likely to push through a positive vote.
The industry is waiting with baited breath: a House with a Democrat majority is their dream result but if the results swing the other way there are still viable although harder options for Frank's pro gambling bill.