Internet gambling poses a significant risk to the US economy. The increased focus of gambling firms towards the internet has led to their command of a significant number of the gambling population. The revenue collected by the US government from the legalized gambling establishment has reduced critically (OECD, 2011). This can be attributed to the convenience and ease with which internet gambling operates. The loss of tax revenues attributable to internet gambling practices is overwhelming. As an alternate to traditional legalized forms of gambling, internet gambling does not require an individual to be physically present in a gambling establishment to gamble. Gambling can be conducted from anywhere.
Revenue is lost significantly from unaccounted for transactions resulting from gambling activities. Diminishing returns are observed in complementary services and goods like sale of food in gambling establishments. However, if internet gambling activities were to be adequately licensed, controlled and taxed, the revenues collected by the US government would be a critical contributor to economic growth. Internet gambling is untapped economic resource, which, when properly managed, can prove to be a significant economic contributor (Hammer, 2001). Though the benefits of internet gambling are potentially significant, the social implications and drawbacks of gambling cannot be ignored. The policy makers should institute regulations to control who gambles and to what extent can gambling harm a person.
Despite the social implications of gambling, the potential revenues collected from effective taxation of internet gambling could prove critical in economic growth and development. Though, controlling individual gambling may prove to be challenging, it is not a sufficient reason to outlaw internet gambling. Given the current economic crisis, an injection to the US economic basket from internet gambling taxation revenues would prove to be crucial. The results of the 2008 elections saw individuals with reform agendas to the US economic state in their minds.
The proposal of the Internet Gambling Regulation, Consumer Protection and Enforcement Act of 2009 is a definite indicator of the realization of the critical revenue source represented by internet gambling. This act aims at licensing internet gambling activities while protecting consumers on the internet and imposing appropriate taxation. The realization of the potential revenues the US is losing on a daily basis to unregulated internet gambling and prohibition of internet gambling in the US is critical to these developments. Gambling should not be viewed as a problem but rather as a potential solution to current economic problems facing the US.