A new study released on Monday from an English gaming consulting company shows that the effects of regulating internet gambling in the United States would be greater than previously thought.
The study was done by H2 Gambling Capital, which provides marketing information and data regarding the gaming industry, and is getting a great deal of attention from the Safe and Secure Internet Gambling Initiative, the top advocate for the legalization of internet gaming in the United States. In the study, H2 Gambling Capital indicates that the potential benefits from the regulation of online gaming – including poker and sports betting – would have a tremendous impact on employment and also add tax revenues. The numbers that H2 Gambling Capital has discovered in its study vastly outpace other studies that members of Congress have quoted.
If the United States were to regulate internet gaming, H2 Gambling Capital indicates that close to 32,000 jobs would be created over a five-year time span. Perhaps most surprisingly, expenditures from regulated internet gaming in the United States would top $94 billion over the same period, generating $57.5 billion in tax revenues from wagering. If the United States were to regulate the online gaming industry without allowing sports betting, H2 Gambling Capital’s models indicate that regulation would provide gross expenditures of $67 billion over five years, which would generate $30.8 billion in tax revenue and 25,470 jobs.
These numbers are greater than those which Representatives Barney Frank (D-MA) and Jim McDermott (D-WA) have been using in their attempt to change the government’s perspective on online gaming. McDermott, who has introduced the Internet Gambling Regulation and Tax Enforcement Act (HR 4976), has said that regulation would lead to $42 billion in new federal government revenues and $30 billion in new state revenues over ten years. Frank has pushed for regulation of the online gaming industry in the U.S. with his bill – the Internet Gambling Regulation, Consumer Protection and Enforcement Act (HR 2267) – and has been able to garner support for that legislation from 68 fellow Congressmen. As of now, neither bill has been introduced to committee, the first step for a measure to become law.
A spokesperson for the Safe and Secure Internet Gambling Initiative, Michael Waxman, says that the H2 Gambling Capital study should open the eyes of politicians in Washington. “This analysis further reinforces the fact that a regulated environment will pay dividends throughout the economy,” Waxman said in a press release after the study was released. “With unemployment nearing 10%, this study sends a clear message to policymakers that internet gambling regulation is a common sense way to immediately stimulate the economy, create close to 32,000 jobs, and raise billions in much-needed new government revenues.”
According to London-based stockbroker Daniel Stewart, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has apparently stepped onto the online gaming bandwagon and could introduce legislation that may be passed before the November elections.
Stewart also cites the recent move by the American Gaming Association, the organization that represents the casino gaming industry, which last month changed its stance regarding regulation of the online gaming industry. The AGA now supports government regulation and, if it were to pass, Stewart indicates that land-based casinos such as Harrah’s, MGM Mirage, Wynn, and the Las Vegas Sands would benefit the most.
“We believe the significant job and revenue creation potential provides an immediate incentive for the Obama Administration and Congress to act quickly to regulate internet gambling,” Waxman stated about the H2 Gambling Capital findings. “Leaving in place a failed prohibition should no longer be the government’s misguided policy approach, leaving millions of Americans vulnerable as they continue to find a way to gamble online in a thriving underground marketplace.”