US House continues to deliberate online casino gambling
Progress has been made in America in regards to the legalisation of some forms of online gambling. A hearing took place last Tuesday where lawmakers and industry players agreed that it was time to let America’s casinos and racetracks begin operating online.
Presently there is some form of gambling legal in every state except Hawaii and Utah. In 2006 a law was passed which banned U.S. financial institutions from processing payments for online gambling sites, however, this has been almost impossible to enforce and it is thought that up to $6 billion a year is spent by Americans on offshore sights.
Representative Joe Barton once again stressed that poker is a game of skill and pointed out that President Nixon financed his first congressional campaign through his poker winnings and that President Obama has a reputation as an excellent card player. He has submitted a poker bill to the house which has extremely wide support.
However, not everyone fully supports the bill in its current form. The Native American Fair Commerce Coalition (NAFCC) have pointed out that some details in the bill are not fair to the tribe’s interest. There are two details in the bill which they wish to challenge and defeat.
The first is the federal tax scheme the bill will create for poker sites. At present American Indian tribes are exempt from paying federal income tax which means that if tribal gaming operations were forced to participate under the bill it would be an impingement to their tribal sovereignty.
The second issue is in the licensing rules, at present the bill would take the authority away from the National Indian Gaming Commission to issue licenses; in essence it restricts which type of tribes can operate poker sites.
Native American tribes rely upon gambling to maintain their economy and keep them out of poverty. Because of this they are determined not to be excluded from their participation in any lawful economic activity.