As it stands nowadays, individual states are free to prohibit or practice gambling within their borders while significant rules and limits are put on interstate and this activity. Recently, online games has seen harsher regulations. With the Unlawful Web Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 (UIEGA), it was not explicitly banned but rather it had been online financial transactions which were outlawed. This meant that all online financial dealings from gambling service providers were now illegal which resulted in many offshore gambling operators excluding US consumers from their services.
Existing in this legal grey area, it is no more a dilemma of if online gambling will enter in the US market but when as well as perhaps how. As recently as this month, three states have legalized online gambling and intend to begin offering bets by the end of the year. Naturally, a gaming organization in Las Vegas referred to as Ultimate Gaming was the first to offer online poker but also for now restricting it to sole players in Nevada. NJ and Delaware also have legalized online gambling and so far ten other states are thinking about legalizing it in some form or another.
Frank Fahrenkopf, president of the American Game playing Association has mentioned that “Unless there exists a federal bill passed, we are going to have the best expansion of legalized gambling in the United States. I don’t think that’s what anyone intended, but it is what we’re seeing.” This poses many questions and of course concerns for many existing commercial casinos and American policy makers. Will legitimate online gambling mean fewer individuals in brick and mortar casinos? Will this develop a new way to obtain revenue at the state and national level? What about taxes and regulations? An increase in gamblers?
Many people including Arnie Wexler, former chairman of New Jersey’s Council On Compulsive Gambling possesses voiced concern that with all the good this could do to generate income and revenue for specific states there could be problems with an increase in compulsive gambling. There is domino bet regarding social media in america as some locations like Zynga have already begun taking real-money bets.
Taking in mind the questions and concerns, many resort casinos are already making strategies to expand into online gambling to complement their real casinos. Geoffrey Stewart, general supervisor of Caesars INTERNET POKER has said “Like any business, you’re always looking for what is the next distribution channel.”