Win, Lose or Draw: Debating The Ban On Web Gambling

Thursday, 26 Apr 2007 | 5:47 PM ET

If the U.S. government lifts the ban on Internet gambling, what will be the cost to financial institutions, the economy and society? On “Power Lunch,” Michael Bolcerek, president of the Pokers Player Alliance and Reed Kathrein, partner and class action litigator at Hagens, Berman, Sobol & Shapiro, debated whether the ban should be lifted.

Internet Gambling Debate
Congress takes up the issue of Internet gambling and whether the government should regulate and tax it, with Michael Bolcerek, Poker Players Alliance president; Reed Kathrein, Hagens Berman Sobol & Shapiro partner & class action attorney and CNBC's Bill Griffeth

“This is sensible litigation that moves the meter in the right direction,” said Bolcerek. He explained, “The old legislation drives everything underground and to unscrupulous operators. This lift would bring it above-ground and provide protection and safeguards for the general public and for poker players.” Some experts say the U.S. could collect $4 billion in taxes if online gambling were legal.

Kathrein believes that the ban should stay in place. He said, “the reason to ‘pick on’ online gaming is because it is not being controlled locally, and local communities and states are not given the ability to control and take care of the people who are harmed by this.” It is estimated that U.S. gamblers make up almost 50% of the estimated $6 billion online gambling market.


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Kenny Polcari