In the 27th of January edition of Capitol Hill publication Roll Call, a well known and highly respected politician wrote about the importance of legalizing and regulating online poker in the United States. The Poker Players Alliance (PPA) Chairman Alfonse D'Amato, a former three term Senator from the state of New York wrote the article titled, "The New Deal: Regulate and Tax iPoker”.
In view of the two huge stimulus packages totaling over $1 trillion, D'Amato argued that part of the money would have to come from new forms of revenue. A simple solution, he stated, would be to tax and regulate poker. He said, “The online poker industry and the millions of Americans who play on the internet have been crying out for regulation and taxation. The absence of government regulation, and in fact the quixotic efforts to ban internet poker, has left U.S. consumers vulnerable and left billions in potential tax revenue on the virtual poker table.” He also pointed out that it is not very often that an industry actually volunteers for taxation and regulation by the US Government.
D'Amato addressed the Congressman who may be wavering over whether a tax on online poker should be implemented he said, “This is not a new tax. It’s not politically risky tax increases. Regulation simply allows for the collection of taxes that are currently going overseas to the other countries that have already seized on the global poker phenomenon.” He also reminded his readers that poker is a game of skill and one that is in fact enjoyed by the President of the United States, Barack Obama. He also added, “While the U.S. has been asleep at the wheel, other countries have stepped up to protect their citizens, and by default ours. The vast majority of poker web sites are highly regulated in their home jurisdictions, such as the United Kingdom, Isle of Man, and Alderney.” He sums up his article by saying, “If Obama applies his poker skills to his job in the White House, he will reject politically unpopular and economically untenable tax increases and look seriously at other potential revenue streams like internet poker.”
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