UNLV studying online gambling

capital hill

The University of Nevada - Las Vegas has been commissioned by the state Gaming Control Board to inform lawmakers about the pros and cons of regulating a business that the U.S. government has essentially banned.

The study is expected to be released in a couple of weeks, according to a story in the Las Vegas Sun. It may show that there is enough money still going to offshore online gambling operators to warrant an attempt to tax those revenues.

"This will be valuable information for policymakers," said board chairman Dennis Neilander in the Sun story.

Some industry insiders have said the U.S. government is missing out on billions of dollars by not legalizing and taxing online poker. Also at issue is the fact that currently online gambling is not regulated and millions of Americans still play unprotected.

Las Vegas gaming attorney Tony Cabot, who has consulted for online operators, thinks state regulation would be appropriate for the online companies.

"It's historically been policy [for] the state of Nevada to regulate gaming so that we can protect patrons and make sure they get paid when they win," he said.

The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) was passed in October 2006 as Title VIII of the SAFE Port Act. UIGEA did not necessarily make it illegal for patrons to gamble online, but it did outlaw transactions from financial institutions to online gambling sites and vice versa.

Since then the act has frequently been challenged. In April, Rep. Barney Frank introduced a bill that would overturn many aspects of the act and create a system to regulate online gambling.

More recently the Poker Players Alliance, which has nearly one million members, met with government officials in Washington and voiced their support for legalizing online poker.

Related Articles:

Best Poker Sites - Editor`s Pick

Latest Blogs »