Volberg testifies before U.S. House committee

December 10, 2013

Rachel Volberg testifies before the Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade Subcommittee in the U.S. House. (Photo courtesy of U.S. Energy & Commerce Committee Webcast)

Rachel Volberg, Research Associate Professor of Epidemiology, recently testified before a hearing of the Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade Subcommittee in the U.S. House. The hearing examined potential impacts of H.R. 2666, 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. In addition to Volberg, other witnesses included John Pappas of the Poker Players Alliance, Andrew Abboud of the Las Vegas Sands Corporation, Geoff Freeman of the American Gaming Association, Les Bernal of Stop Predatory Gambling, and Kurt Eggert of Chapman University.

Read Volberg’s full testimony here.