Volberg Testifies before U.S. House Panel on Internet Poker Bill

Rachel Volberg, research associate professor of epidemiology, testified Dec. 10 at a hearing of the Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade Subcommittee in the U.S. House of Representatives on a bill that would establish federal oversight of state and tribal licensing programs for Internet poker in the U.S.

The subcommittee has oversight of interstate and foreign trade, including regulation of commercial practices, sports-related matters, consumer affairs and consumer protection, data security and product liability.

Volberg’s testimony covered several topics, including whether problem gambling would increase as a result of increased online gambling; populations that are most vulnerable to problem gambling; the significance of funding problem gambling research, treatment and prevention; and the need to balance potential economic benefits of gambling with consumer protections.

“While establishing minimum consumer protections at the federal level will be helpful, these measures will not be adequate without a mechanism to adequately fund prevention, treatment and, most importantly, research on problem gambling in the United States,” said Volberg.

Volberg testified before the same committee two years ago regarding an earlier version of the bill that did not pass.