Predictions and/or State Updates for Online Gaming in the US

by Jim Hall

Online Gambling in 2017Find out what interested states are going to be doing this year in regards to online gaming in the US.

2016 ended in similar fashion to other years gone by as there was no state ready to pass legislation to join Nevada, Delaware and New Jersey in offering online gaming options such as casino and poker play. Many states introduced legislation and came close but something stood in their way. With Donald Trump soon to be the President of the United States, many are hoping that 2017 will be the year of change when it comes to gambling as a whole, particularly with sports betting and online gaming. Below is a quick recap of states that showed interest and what they might be up to for the New Year.

Michigan

The state of Michigan came out of nowhere last year to be a strong contender for online casino gaming. The state made it up until the last month of the year with the option to offer such gaming but were unable to approve the online gambling bill. The state already offers lottery gaming online, which was approved back in 2014. Michigan is expected to be considering the option yet again this year but many feel that the fact the Attorney General for the state, Bill Schuette, was part of a letter sent to the president and vice president elect hoping to see RAWA restored, the outlook may not be as good as once expected.

Pennsylvania

It seemed that 2016 would have been the year for Pennsylvania to pass legislation in regards to online casino and poker gaming but this state also feel short. In the summer, the House of Representatives passed a gaming expansion bill but the Senate decided not to move forward. Too much is on the table and legislators cannot seem to come to an agreement. Along with online gambling, the state is also considering additional expansions as well as the need to complete tax changes in regards to gaming venues and their host municipality.

Legislators were to meet this week and begin discussions on the many subjects involved in the gaming industry and one could expect an update on what was discussed by the end of the week or next week.

California

The state of California has tried to pass online poker legislation for more than eight years now so it is surprising that they have not given up or just passed it already. The state ran into a lot of trouble last year as interested parties could not come to an agreement as to who should be involved and what their role should be. A bill by Assemblyman Adam Gray was introduced last year that proposed online poker licenses be provided to card room sand the Native American tribes of the state but it never managed to move past the Assembly floor.

Massachusetts

Another surprising addition to interested states in online gambling was Massachusetts. The state conducted studies to see if they would benefit from becoming involved in the industry. The State Gaming Commission ordered the study to include such categories as daily fantasy sports, lottery gaming and poker. The report should be completed this summer, but that will not leave much time for legislators to create bills to pass the activity if the study proves to be positive.

These are just a few of the states that showed interest and made an effort to become involved in online gambling within the United States. It will be interesting to see what takes place in 2017. Will we see at least one state pass legislation for online gaming or perhaps several states will be in the mix?