The US Congress may have finally found a solution for the government’s budget woes – repeal the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA). Seriously though even if it might not solve the economic crisis the fact remains that the online gambling industry is one of the rare industries that is still very much flourishing. In fact according to a report from Global Betting and Gaming Consultants (GBGC) the gross gambling revenue for 2008 was over $20 billion, a hefty enough revenue that the US government is losing out on in terms of taxes.
Congressman Barney Frank who is the chairman of the Financial Services Committee in the US House of Representatives is the man behind the motion for repealing the act. According to Congressman Frank repeal of the act could lead to over $52 billion in tax revenue over a decade. The congressman has already tried to get the UIGEA repealed in 2007 though he obviously wan’t successful then. Last time his argument was that “the existing legislation is an inappropriate interference on the personal freedom of Americans and this interference should be undone.” Now that his argument is that it can make the US much needed money maybe he will be heard.
According to GBGC one of the reasons for the industry’s good standing is actually the economic crisis itself. With everyone needing to do some penny pinching people are turning to cheaper forms of entertainment and compared to having to go out to casinos (for gamblers) as well as buying new video games and game consoles (for gamers) online gaming is definitely cheaper.