Make gambling legal say advocates

A Sunday New York TImes article about legalizing online poker — and its assertion that doing so could generate new tax revenues — had poker players making their case on Twitter and Facebook on Sunday.

“Legalizing online poker and gambling could bring in $42 billion in tax revenue over 10 years,” Brad Plumer tweeted Sunday.

Proposed federal legislation would leave regulation of online gambling to states. The industry is already preparing lobbying campaigns to target state governments that may seek to legalize online gaming to make up for revenue shortfalls.

Brian Provost of Austin, Texas is using his Twitter account to drum up support the legalization push. Last week he posted several messages each day calling on people to support the bill now before Congress.

“For the #deficit & personal liberty, please support HR 2366, GOP Rep. Barton’s Online #Poker Act!” he said in a typical post.

The debate has been ongoing for several months, and took on more urgency earlier this year when the federal government seized the domain names of three of the most popular online poker sites.

“Online poker would have an enormous impact on the National economy. The taxes from online poker would create a huge amount of income that would bring down the National debt, help education funding, and alleviate the SS & disability problems,” Michael Arrowood posted on Facebook. “Since our government gives the rich huge tax breaks and then taxes the hell out of the middle class, let’s let the high rollers help generate new taxes!”

Photo by Viri G

Dave Copeland

Dave Copeland

Dave Copeland is a tech reporter whose work has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, Boston Globe, and ReadWrite. He teaches journalism at Bridgewater State University.