Rep. Jim McDermott (D-Wash.) has taken a new approach to winning the fight for online poker acceptance in Congress: he has introduced a bill that would not only regulate online gambling, but would also earmark the revenue generated through taxes for programs that would assist U.S. citizens in need.By doing this, Rep. McDermott is likely hoping that many legislators who have previously been opposed to regulation will have trouble voting against the bill, as they would be declining aid to those who need it.

The Human Resources Act of 2008 (H.R. 6501) would funnel revenue, estimated to be as high as $40 billion over the next 10 years, to programs that would provide job training for those in struggling sectors of the economy, as well as educational assistance for foster children.

The legislation would also promote gambling safety and responsibility, which has resulted in it receiving the stamp of approval from the National Council on Problem Gambling.

"We have an ideal opportunity to invest billions of dollars in American workers and our struggling economy without increasing the federal deficit," said Rep. McDermott. "IHRA would utilize a funding stream that would become available should Congress decide to legalize and regulate Internet gambling, which would protect consumers and collect tax revenue that is currently offshore."

Two Democratic leaders are original co-sponsors: Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.), who is chairman of the House Democratic Policy Committee, and Rep. John B. Larson (D-Conn.), vice chair of the Democratic Caucus.

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