AGA president says online gambling tops industry concerns

The legalization of Internet gambling will be the hottest federal issue facing Nevada’s gaming industry in the next few years, the president of the American Gaming Association said. „The need for new tax money could drive its legalization in both houses of Congress,” said Frank Fahrenkopf, the AGA president and CEO.

“There have been projections circulated on the Hill that it can raise billions of dollars in new federal revenue,” said Fahrenkopf, a Reno High School graduate. “So we can expect that the whole issue of Internet gambling will be front and center in the next Congress.” „Federal lawmakers see that potential tax revenue from Internet gaming could fuel their legislative agenda, he pointed.

“Congress has adopted a pay-as-you-go system,”’ he said. “So any congressman or senator who introduces a piece of legislation that is going to cost something will also have to show how they are going to pay for it, either by cutting spending in one place or raising taxes in another. So we know under those circumstances, they will be looking around at a place to get additional revenue”.

„If it were legalized, I know that Harrah’s, which now owns the World Series of Poker, would be extremely interested in getting into that market,” Fahrenkopf said. “We know that MGM has been bullish on Internet gaming for a long time. Steve (Wynn), I don’t know what he would do and I don’t know what some of the other operators would do…”