The online gambling has grown into a multi-billion dollar yearly business. With this growth has come its fair share of headaches. One such headache is the apparent division within the US Congress on whether to act on Internet gambling. Since lawmakers can’t seem to come to an agreement, it has been left to individual states to come up with state laws within the next 2 years.
While attending the East Coast Gaming Congress, casino stakeholders and politicians came to the conclusion that online gambling will be handled by every state as it sees fit. This would see New Jersey emerge as the “Silicon Valley” of online gambling. This sentiment was echoed by chairman of the US Digital Gaming, Richard Bronson. Richard thought that leaving Congress to come up with legislature concerning Internet gambling was a naïve idea, and it would be much better if individual states dealt with the situation. This is because the American government would not agree to legalize casino gambling.
Richard and others at the gaming conference predicted that states would pass to legalize internet gambling with their own laws, much like individual states approved state lotteries in the absence of a national lottery. Experts predict that within the next 2 years, a good portion of states will have done so.
The state of New Jersey is already steps ahead, having already passed a bill last year that would have approved in-state online gambling. The bill was vetoed by Governor Chris Christie, who voiced concerns that passing the bill would lead to illegal betting parlors in the state. Had the bill fully passed, New Jersey would have been the first state in America to approve Internet gambling.
The veto setback is not holding back New Jersey lawmakers, who plan to pass another bill in two months that incorporates changes that would alleviate the Governor’s concerns. This move would stem to take advantage of the large amounts of money that have been lost while making changes to the bill. There is certainly potential in the casino industry, with more than 40 million people visiting Las Vegas in the past year. Passing of the approval bill in states like New Jersey would take advantage of the vast opportunities for growth.
With such changes on the horizon, firms are positioning themselves for the eventual legalization of online gambling. An associate at an Atlantic City based casino consulting firm says his company has been in talks with European gaming companies, US affiliates and state lotteries who are all looking to be ready when the approvals start rolling in. For such companies, it is only a matter of when, and not if, online gambling becomes a reality in US states.
Internet gambling is the new frontier for overall gambling, and pretty soon many people will move away from the traditional brick and mortar casinos. State laws are all that’s keeping the flood waters away for now. Once online gambling is approved, new modes like mobile gambling will take the front-wheel of gambling, moving this industry into new waters.