Congress Flip-Flops on Internet Gambling

By Daniel Indiviglio

Apparently, something is only immoral until Washington finds away to make money from it. Case in point: internet gambling. In 2006, Congress banned it. But this week, the House Financial Service committee passed legislation that would overturn that law. What changed? All of the firms moved offshore, and it occurred to politicians that they could make money off of the industry:

The bill would direct the Treasury Department to license and regulate Internet gambling operations, while a companion measure, pending before another committee, would allow the Internal Revenue Service to tax such businesses. Winnings by individuals would also be taxed, as regular gambling winnings are now. The taxes could yield as much as $42 billion for the government over 10 years, supporters said.

Given how cash-strapped the federal government is these days, perhaps other guilty pleasures will also soon be licensed and taxed.

Read the full story at the New York Times.

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2010/07/congress-flip-flops-on-internet-gambling/60692/