The State Gaming Control Board has commissioned the University of Nevada â€“ Las Vegas to report to lawmakers about the pros and cons of regulating a business that the U.S. Government has basically banned, which is online gambling.
The study that UNLV is doing is expected to be released in a few weeks, according to reports. What the study could show is that there is enough money still going to offshore online gambling operators to merit an attempt to tax those revenues.
Dennis Neilander, who is the board chairman, has said that this will be very valuable information for policymakers.
There are some industry insiders that have said that the U.S. Government is missing out on billions of dollars by not legalizing and taxing online poker. Another issue that has come up is that currently online gambling is not regulated and millions of Americans still play unprotected.
Tony Cabot, who is the Las Vegas gaming attorney and has also consulted for online operators, thinks that state regulation would be suitable for the online companies. He went on to say that itâ€™s historically been policy for the state of Nevada to regulate gaming so that they can protect consumers and to make sure that they get paid when they win.
The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, which is also known as UIGEA, was passed in October 2006 as Title VIII of the Safe Port Act. It was an act that was at the last minute attached to the bill. UIGEA did not essentially make it illegal for consumers to gamble online but it did outlaw transactions from financial institutions to online gambling sites and vice versa.
Since the act passed it has frequently been challenged. In April, Rep. Barney Frank proposed a bill that would reverse many aspects of the act and it would also create a system to regulate online gambling. His proposed bill is called the Internet Gambling Regulation and Enforcement Act of 2007. The bill would create an exemption to the ban on online gambling for properly licensed operators, which would allow Americans to bet online legally. This act would also establish a federal regulatory and enforcement framework to license companies to accept bets and wagers online from consumers in the U.S.
More recently the Poker Players Alliance, which has almost one million members, met with government officials in Washington and told them that they support legalizing online poker.