Which States are Considering Online Gambling Legislation?

by Jim Hall

Online Gambling LegislationAs many as five states are currently interested in the online gambling industry, yet no one state has passed legislation to join Delaware, Nevada and New Jersey in offering quality gaming options online.

It has been some time since a state in the US has passed legislation to offer online casino or poker gaming. Only Delaware, New Jersey and Nevada offer online gaming options and have done so for more than two years now. Each of the three states have been considered a model by other states who are considering offering such gaming options within their own borders. For 2016, the front runners have been Pennsylvania and California with Michigan, Massachusetts and New York in the mix.

Why Offer Online Gambling?

Most states in the US offer some form of gambling, be it land based casinos or bingo halls. Online gambling activity is prevalent in the US and many states are realizing they should be capitalizing on the activity. Offshore gambling sites offers services to United States residents while states sit back and do nothing. States that were to legalize the option would be able to reap the benefits, adding more revenues to be used for state programs such as education or senior citizens.

A state is a good candidate for online gambling when they already have a land based casino industry. In Delaware, Nevada and New Jersey, the land based operators work with online operators to provide websites for gaming. This process makes it easy for licensing as well as regulations, and gives a base for the gambling option to take place.

Using Online Gambling for Revenues

Many of the states currently considering regulations are doing so in an effort to bring in more funds. Take Pennsylvania for example. The state needs money to meet a budget shortfall. It is believed that online gambling would bring in around $100 million if casino and poker options were available online. For lawmakers in any state to be agreeable to passing a measure for online gambling legislation into law, they have to be able to see the plus side. A solid revenue stream is definitely a plus side.

Obstacles to Consider

It is also important for a state in the US to consider any obstacles at play. Take California for example, the state of California has tried for more than eight years to pass legislation to provide poker and casino gaming, in some form or fashion. The state has several invested groups that want to take part from the Indian tribes to card rooms and horse race tracks. Each group has their own idea as to who should be involved and how the industry should take shape. This has been a major obstacle for lawmakers, trying to come to an agreement that everyone will be happy with.

Look at New York as well. In the state, legislature has the option to legalize online poker gaming but a constitutional amendment would have to be passed first in order for online casino games to be legalized. This is why the state is focusing on online poker rather than casino gaming first. Legal ramifications and the process to actually see legislation passed must be considered in each state by lawmakers who are trying to move forward with legislation.

Overall, there are several states besides these five that are showing interest in the online gambling industry. All eyes will be on 2017 as watch and see which state will emerge as the next possibility to offer online casino and poker game play to residents. You never know, a completely new state may be in the mix by next year, surpassing supposed favorites such as Pennsylvania and California by passing legislation.