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Online Gambling Study Reveals UIGEA Damage

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According to a study published by H2 Gambling Capital, in the five years since online gambling was banned in the United States when the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) was passed, the country could have generated over $150 billion in revenues and created 32,000 jobs.

H2 Gambling Capital, a leading provider of gambling statistics and gambling reports to the gambling industry, revealed in its study that if the United States government had chosen to legalize and regulate online gambling instead of banning it in October 2006, the country would now be far better off economically.

The study revealed that a lawful U.S. online gambling industry would have created a mass of jobs and generated approximately $94 billion in gross revenues in addition to around $57.5 billion in taxable online gambling revenues via wagering, the creation of jobs as well as the growth of associated businesses.

However, this is nothing but conjecture, because five years ago the U.S. government instead chose to follow the ‘prohibitionary’ path, obviously having learnt nothing from the 1930’s prohibition, where the alcohol ban only resulted in a widespread black market trade in liquor and the birth of organized crime.

Today, although the practice is illegal, hundreds of thousands of Americans still gamble online at a host of offshore-owned and operated online gambling sites. This means that the billions of U.S. dollars being wagered each year are ending up in offshore banks, as opposed to being retained in the United States.

Ironically, while the U.S. – like most countries –  is trying to recover from one of the most devastating economic downturns in decades, a legalized and regulated online gambling industry would go a long way to help fill up depleted government coffers, and create a safer online gambling environment for Americans.

And despite U.S. pro-online gambling supporters putting their hopes in the more forward-thinking Obama administration, by most accounts a bill to reverse the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act and legalize and regulate online gambling on both a national and state level is still many months away.

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