Don’t expect any decisions regarding Internet gambling coming from the US Congress to come anytime soon. What you can expect, though, is for approvals to come from individual states.
That much was laid on the table at the East Coast Gaming Congress, where panelists predicted that the divisiveness of the US Congress on the topic of Internet gambling will prompt individual states to act on their own. One state, in particular, has already taken the initiative in that matter as leaders in New Jersey are already working on a bill to make Internet gambling legal in the state.
Richard Bronson, the chairman of US Digital Gaming isn’t sitting on his hands waiting for a federal Internet gambling law, saying that those who are twiddling their thumbs waiting for such a thing to happen are naive. “In a Congress that can’t agree on what day it is, the thought that they’re going to agree to put casino gambling in every living room in America is ridiculous,” he said.
Bronson even predicted that Internet gambling could follow along the path set by the state lottery system, which is independent to each of the 43 states that run their own model. Ever wonder why there’s no single national lottery in the US? There’s your answer.
New Jersey, in particular, has been the most active in its pursuit of legalizing Internet gambling in the state with the hopes of becoming the “Silicon Valley of Internet Gambling”. Despite concerns raised by Governor Chris Christie over the constitutionality of Internet gambling, state lawmakers remain steadfast in their pursuit to get approval. They already made a move and passed a bill last year, one that was shot down by Gov. Christie. Nevertheless, they’re still looking to change Christie’s mind with another bill set to be passed at the end of June.
Likewise, the Delaware House of Representatives Gaming and Parimutuel Committee recently voted to send its online gambling legislation to the floor of the House for a vote. Similar moves are being done in California and Iowa to legalize online poker in their states.
It’s understandable that some folks might find trepidation in Internet gambling, but this a poignant case of the positives far outweighing the negatives that would come out of it. The potential market for online gambling alone is a big reason why the movement to legalize it will only gain steam in the coming years.
The younger generation, in particular, has become more tech savvy, opting for easier access to seemingly everything under the sun. “Internet gaming is the future of the casino business,” said Eugene Johnson, a senior associate with Spectrum Gaming Group.
“It’s strongly tied to mobile gaming. Young people are particularly tied to their mobile devices. If you don’t evolve with the future, you’re going to be left behind.”