US Congress: 'More Study Needed on Online Gambling'

By Maria McCoyGoogle

Several issues relating to online gambling were presented to the US Congressional House Energy and Commerce Committee on October 25th.  It was decided that more study was needed before any conclusions could be made.

Those who support online gambling had strong arguments.  They believe that online gambling is happening even without legalization.  People are using sites that are not regulated by the US and can result in players being taken advantage of by places that are not being watched.  They also mentioned the money that is being lost in tax dollars for the state governments as well as the federal government.  One advocate mentioned that poker required skill and was not a luck-based game.

The opposition had strong arguments, too.  They came from state lotteries that felt that tax revenue would be lost that had been dedicated to education.  An opponent stated that the people who bought lottery tickets were a different segment than those who gambled online and so revenue would not be affected.

Keith Whyte who is the director of National Council on Problem Gambling spoke of the costs involved with gambling addiction.  Another spokesperson, Dan Romer of The Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania, spoke in favor of regulation of online gambling to protect families.

Chairperson of the committee, Mary Bono Mack felt there was too much information involved to rush into decisions.  It would need to be put on the agenda of a bipartisan committee that is designed to find ways to reduce the US debt.  November 23rd is the deadline for submissions, but further study would prevent the online gambling item to make it to the committee by that date.


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