Ever since the beginnings of Bugsy Siegel opening the Flamingo in 1946, Las Vegas has ruled as a gambler’s paradise. In America, gambling suggests wealth and glamour, but what about online gambling? New legislation in a number of states may make Internet gambling legal, at least on an interstate level.
In a recent move, Nevada gambling regulations are changing to give a preliminary approval for a system that would link online poker websites between two states. Nevada and Delaware may join up to create a larger pool of online players.
The Gaming Control Board officials made an official statement on Wednesday that says the network would be a model for a system between Delaware and Nevada. The two states have never been linked before, but both of the states have made online poker legal within their borders and have signed an agreement that would make players eligible to gamble between the two states in the future.
Every year, more people head online to look for entertainment. Whether it’s music, television, video games or gambling. Gambling has become another activity that no longer requires a player to look for a legal casino to physically play at. Online gambling casinos have already taken off in Europe, and it’s only a matter of time before they become legal in the United States.
The battle for online casinos in the United States has become vicious. Many Las Vegas-based casinos are not in favor of anything that would keep players from heading out to a physical place to play, but they can’t deny that online gambling brings in billions of dollars every year.
In other parts of the world, online gambling is a thriving economy that allows players to jump into games of all kinds, but the small number of Internet gambling sites in the US are limited to just poker.
Previously, the United States has banned online gambling and shut down gambling sites, which prevents US players from being able to cash out though they can still play gambling games online. Today’s online casinos support poker, slots, roulette, blackjack and a variety of other games of chance. The ability to play from the comfort of their own homes adds an exciting yet somewhat dangerous aspect to the games.
There has been an increase in online gambling addiction. In a study, TechAddiction found that gamblers most enjoy being able to play from the comfort of their own homes. They can also learn how to play games with step-by-step tutorials and make low bets that allows them to steadily increase their bets and winnings.
Gambling websites have also jumped on the web development bandwagon with innovative interfaces incorporating social media and mobile applications. While this makes the games more accessible, it also means an influx of younger players all over the world.
Since players don’t necessarily have to deposit real money into the game, they can start with play money and learn the games, but almost all players eventually make wages with real money. Online gambling also increases the skill level of poker players allowing them to win online tournaments and even go to televised poker tournaments that stream through the Internet as they play.
In recent years, the number of online casinos has increased in Europe while games have not made much progress in the United States. This new ruling could change that for players in Nevada and Delaware, but many gamblers in the US want online gambling to be legalized. According to CBS News, at least 10 states are considering legalizing Internet casinos in the near future. However, the chance of seeing a national law legalizing online gambling is very slim according to a Gambling Compliance survey taken earlier in 2014.
Three states have already legalized online gambling including Nevada, Delaware and New Jersey. There have been proposals to legalize Internet casinos in Illinois, California, Colorado, Iowa, Hawaii, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Mississippi and Pennsylvania.
In most cases, legalizing Internet gambling comes down to decisions made by Indian tribes who have a large sway over legislation. For example, in California, Indian tribes are currently trying to figure out the best way to legalize online poker. Tribal leaders from two communities have met in 2014 and said that they are making progress, but they are unable to come to an agreement.
While other parts of the world enjoy a variety of different Internet gambling games, laws in the US limit online gambling to poker. For example, in Nevada, you can only play if you are in the state, and if you don’t want to play poker, you can’t play online. Internet gambling is also not as robust in Delaware.
New Jersey may also join Delaware and Nevada in interstate online poker, but so far, an agreement has not been made. There is a bill waiting in New Jersey legislature that would allow the licensing to permit interstate and foreign bets taken only in Atlantic City casinos.
There are 15 Internet gambling sites in New Jersey that took in $8.4 million after just launching in November 2013. The state has seen an increase in gambling online and reports millions in revenue each month.
If online gambling were to be legalized across the United States, it would allow millions of players to access online casinos, but it’s not clear if they would be allowed to gamble in other parts of the world. There is little hope that a national law would legalize such a thing since lobbying has been slow to approve Internet gambling laws in the states.
One problem is that many physical casinos in the United States don’t want online gambling to be legalized. Las Vegas billionaire Sheldon Adelson is one of them. He has stated that he will do “whatever it takes” to make online gambling completely illegal in the United States. He even helped write a bill in March 2014 that Senator Lindsey Graham and Representative Jason Chaffetz introduced. He is funding a million-dollar campaign to ban online gambling completely, which makes it difficult for online casinos to gain a footing when they don’t have a campaign to lobby for pro-Internet gambling. Nevada Senator Dean Heller is currently preparing a bill that would only make Internet poker legal while banning all other types of online games. He is supported by Adelson who has contributed over $20,000 so far this year to the senator’s campaign.
However, Caesars Entertainment has lobbed heavily since 2013 to legalize Internet gambling at a federal level. MGM Resorts is another proponent of online gambling. The two have banded together to help lobby for the legalization of Internet ambling. There are a number of foreign companies as well who are donating to the cause including PokerStars, the world’s biggest online poker company.
A deadline has been set for a decision on legalizing online gambling at the state level for those considering making Internet poker casinos legal. States have until August 31st to make a decision. As a while, the casino industry is changing in America, but it’s unclear how long it will take for US players to be able to gamble online without the threat of legal issues.
While interstate bills may have a chance, a federal bill faces a more difficult challenge as many states want to create their own systems for Internet gambling. This would place restrictions on online casinos and players. While there is a sense of inevitability that online gambling will pass in the United States, it probably won’t be as robust as games and services that players enjoy overseas.