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October 25, 2014

Gambling on net: legislation in the U.S. - Today's situation


Veteran online gamblers have seen online gaming evolve over the years. In the late 1990s when online gambling was in its nascence, it existed in a legal grey area. Since then online gambling's existence in the United States has been in a sort of limbo. But the times are changing -- quickly.

In the United States today, online gambling is on the verge of a significant revolution. The thousands of online gambling sites in the United States are fighting for legitimacy. And it looks like they will come out of this battle on top.

Interstate Gambling

It shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone that Nevada is at the forefront of the push for online gambling's legitimacy. After all, it is one of the few states that legally allow gambling within its borders.

Thanks to the shining example that Nevada has presented to the world, the United States' attitude toward casino gambling has changed. More states are looking more favorably on gambling than ever before.

For those that prefer gambling from the privacy of their home, the state of Nevada is coming to the rescue again. Casino owners and gambling enthusiasts are putting pressure on Nevada legislators to legalize interstate online poker.

What does that mean for gamblers? For one it means that the Las Vegas gambling companies that you know and love will be able to welcome gamblers from all over the United States to their sites.

For those readers excited about the prospect of access to all that Las Vegas has to offer via the World Wide Web, be prepared to get more excited -- interstate gambling is likely coming soon.

One of the reasons that Nevada is putting the pressure on their government is that they are hoping to come out on top of a legislative race. Nevada may have a monopoly on casino gambling but they're not the only state interested in online gambling.

Several state legislatures around the country are pushing for the same thing. Gambling is a multi-billion dollar industry. And when it's online, the traditional arguments about where to put a casino and fears of attracting an undesirable element are moot.

In fact, several studies have suggested that online gambling is better for people with problems like gambling addiction because it could be better regulated. It's the kind of legislation that's tailor made to fast track its way through state governments.

If Nevada decides to take the opportunity to be a pioneer in interstate online gambling, the legislation will be decided on by the end of March 2013. If the legislation doesn't pass, it will only be a matter of time before another state picks up the slack and offers interstate gambling to the rest of the United States.

Nevada's gaming win revenues (Dec. 2012)

The States' Revolution

The state of New Jersey has been in the news recently because Governor Chris Christie recently sent back a bill to ask for an amendment that would allow online gambling within state lines.

While Chris Christie is being touted as the Gambling Governor, his personal feelings about gambling may not have much to do with his decision. Like many states, New Jersey has felt the pressure of the Great Recession.

For the past six years, New Jersey's state revenue has been on a steady decline. And with the recession still looming on the United States' peripheral vision, there are few things states can do to bring in new revenue.

Traditional gambling, once thought to be an impervious revenue generator has proved to be unable to help New Jersey out of its dire straits. In 2012, New Jersey lost its position as the number two gambling state after Nevada to the state of Pennsylvania. As budgets tightened around the state, the people of New Jersey did what most people did in those situations: they stayed at home.

So the state of New Jersey had to find a way to build revenue along other lines. And online gambling was the obvious choice.

Online gambling has proved to be recession proof. While most of the country's sectors have struggled, online gambling has increased its annual revenue from the millions to the billions. And while foreclosures abound, online gamblers make the news as frequently as lotto winners for winning big and even becoming multi-millionaires virtually overnight.

Online gambling casinos don't just bring revenue to a state through taxes and big winners in the state. Online gambling also brings jobs to the state. Current studies predict that if New Jersey allows online gambling within state lines, 4,000 more jobs will be created. That is quite a boon in the wake of the recession.

Those statistics have New Jersey legislators excited about the prospect of legalizing online gambling within their state borders. Like most gambling legislation in recent months, the bill is on the fast track through legal pipelines.

Governor Christie announced that a decision on online gambling will be here well before 2013 is over. The bill is expected to be approved by the state assembly before the month of February is over. Once that happens, the bill will move on to the Senate and become a law by the end of March.

And the state of New Jersey isn't the only state that's looking to online gambling to turn their state around. In mid-2012, Delaware became the first state outside of Nevada to legalize online gambling.

Since Delaware's legislative decision, several states are considering following suit. Mississippi, Hawaii and California, Massachusetts are all considering legalizing gambling within their borders. Together with New Jersey they make six states that have turned toward an industry that was previously considered taboo.

Change is happening fast. As the legalization of online gambling spreads like wildfire through the United States, the industry is sure to change in really great ways. Whether interstate gambling or state ratification is the future of gambling in the United States, there are sure to be exciting changes coming down the pipeline.


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