As it stands right now, individual states are free to prohibit or practice gambling within their borders while significant rules and limits are put on interstate which activity. Recently, online video games has seen harsher regulations. With the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 (UIEGA), it was not explicitly banned but instead it was online financial transactions that were outlawed. This meant that all online financial dealings from gambling providers were now illegal which resulted in numerous offshore gambling operators excluding US buyers from their services.
Existing in this legal grey area, it is no more a question of if online gambling will enter in the US market but when and perhaps how. As lately as this month, three says include legalized online gambling and plan to begin offering bets by the end of the year. Naturally, a gaming company in Las Vegas referred to as Ultimate Gaming was the first to offer online poker but also for now restricting it to just players in Nevada. New Jersey and Delaware have also legalized online gambling and so far ten other states are considering legalizing it in some form or another.
Frank Fahrenkopf, president of the American Game playing Association has explained that “Unless there exists a federal bill passed, we are going to have the best expansion of legalized gambling in the usa. I don’t think that’s what anyone intended, nonetheless it is what we’re experiencing.” This poses a great deal of questions and of course concerns for most existing commercial casinos and American policy makers. Will lawful online gambling mean fewer people in brick and mortar casinos? Will this develop a new source of revenue at the state and national level? Think about taxes and regulations? A rise in gamblers?
Many people including Arnie Wexler, former chairman of New Jersey’s Council On Compulsive Gambling possesses voiced concern that with all the current good this could do to generate income and revenue for particular states there may be problems with a rise in compulsive gambling. There’s particular concern regarding social media in america as some spots like Zynga have already begun taking real-money bets.
Taking in mind all the questions and concerns, many hotel casinos are already making ideas to broaden into online gambling to complement their actual physical casinos. Geoffrey Stewart, general supervisor of Caesars Online Poker has said “Like any other business, you’re always looking for what is the next distribution channel.”