H.R. 2230 - Internet Gambling Regulation and Tax Enforcement Act of 2011
Representative James McDermott (D-WA7) has introduced the Internet Gambling Regulation and Tax Enforcement Act of 2011, also known as H.R. 2230. This bill was designed for financial purposes, as it seems that Mr. McDermott is one of the few legislators who realize how much money is being siphoned out of the United States by offshore gambling businesses - money that could very well be put back into the U.S.'s very empty coffers. This bill would establish a framework of legal online gambling, as well as a tax structure that would collect revenue off of the games at hand. This bill, which is enormously comprehensive, would authorize various forms of online gambling.
This bill has essentially been written not to directly authorize gambling sites, but rather to force gambling sites into regulation. The tax framework that would be established makes it so those who are not authorized to operate would be punished by enormous taxes, making it nearly impossible to operate a profitable business without first making it a point to receive licensing. Those who operate without a license, offering unauthorized bets or wagers, would have to pay over 50% in taxes. Otherwise, only a 2% tax would be imposed on all funds deposited by gamblers. The bill would also require all gambling operators to keep strict records of all wagers, require all operators to pay state and Indian tribal governments, and also require withholdings to be taken from winners.
Unfortunately, the bill does not state what could or could be authorized. This makes H.R. 2230 one of the more ambiguous laws when it comes to what forms of gambling would be legalized. While most of the other bills before congress are set to show what can or can't be legalized, Representative McDermott's bill is solely for the the creation of a tax framework. We do not know if sports gambling would be authorized under this bill, as sports gambling has been chronically left out of the laws. When we came to peruse the bill that Mr. McDermott is trying to pass through congress, we ultimately came to the assumption that, in it's original form, H.R. 2230 would allow all forms of online gambling to be authorized - sports betting, poker, casinos or otherwise.
Mr. McDermott's bill has not yet garnered much attention by his colleagues in congress, but this does not mean the bill does not have a chance at success. The ambiguity of the legislation means that it will more than likely end up being overhauled extensively in the committees. Such is the fate of many bills, and this one could experience a complete change of face when brought before the various subcommittees in the House of Representatives. The subcommittees have changed all of the other bills related to online gambling, and it is likely that a few things will be defined as this bill progresses, such as what forms of gambling are legal and what forms are illegal. It is likely that, should this bill make progress, credit cards and sports gambling will be left out of the loop when it comes to legal online gambling.