United States and the Online Casino Regulation in 2012

15 March 2012 – By Huseyin Yilmaz

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After four years of painful austerity, several US states look to approve online gambling this year in order to receive new revenues from this branch. Besides Nevada and the District of Columbia, other states like New Jersey, California and Iowa have already taken important steps in legalizing, licensing and taxing internet gambling. New Jersey’s governor Chris Christie stated his intention of making The Garden State an “epicenter” of the online gambling industry. Law experts in New Jersey said existing law gives the Legislature and the governor the power to decide which forms of gambling are appropriate for Atlantic City, also known as “Las Vegas of the East”. This means online operators could process and accept bets from anywhere, but the computer servers must be located in Atlantic City.

Many states are considering legalizing only online poker, which they argue involves more skill and less chance than other forms of gambling. In California, online poker supporters estimate that it would net the state $100 million to $250 million a year, expanding the state’s budget. On the other hand, lawmakers from Iowa said the proposal to legalize online poker is more about protecting consumers than about raising money. State Senator Jeff Danielson said the purpose of the bill is “to make sure players will get a fair game, protection and if they win, they will be able to retain those earning in a fair sand safe way”. Other states are looking to legalize other forms of online gambling. The District of Columbia for example, wants to offer not only poker online but also blackjack and bingo.

But, as the US Presidential Elections are getting closer, the good news concerning the federal legalization of online poker are coming to an end. Many specialists say that lawmakers will be reluctant to touch the issue in this period. Although Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has promised to push through legislation, analysts say that an election year makes things more complicated as the gridlock in Congress would provide an obstacle. Therefore, it seems like the federal legalization of internet gambling in the United States will not happen this year. But the steps made by some US states will surely encourage other states to re-examine their laws.

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