In spite of the fact that online gambling has been banned in the U.S. since 2006, a recent PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PWC) study reveals that U.S. Internet gambling activity has continued to grow in the interim — by a not insignificant 22 per cent.

With that in mind, the study goes on to suggest that, since the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 (UIGEA) doesn’t seem to be having the desired effect, a change of plan might be in order. And the suggested change is drastic: Repeal the Act and let online gambling run free — but slap a tax on it similar to the one already levied on winnings by Americans in U.S. Casinos.

PWC estimates that the U.S. government could raise as much as (US)$52 billion over the next ten years under the plan.

In fact, plans are already afoot, spearheaded by Barney Franks, Chair of the House of Representatives Financial Services Committee, to overturn the UIGEA, which was passed in the depths of the Bush era by a predominantly Republican Congress and Senate.

Gambling industry supporters are understandably eager to see whether the Obama asministration’s hunger for cash to pay for the country’s economic restoration plan will encourage Congress to make the changes the PWC study recommends.

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