New Survey Indicates 10 States Looking into Regulated Online Gambling

This week Gambling Compliance publicized the results of a survey that quickly swept the poker media and the mainstream media alike.

Gambling Compliance is predicting that in 2014, 10 states will consider legalizing access to real money online poker and other forms of Internet-based wagering.

The Washington Post was just one of many major media outlets to pick up the story.

Populous states consider action on issue

So far, only three states allow residents and visitors to access real money wagering sites. Nevada became the first state in the nation to pass online poker legislation when it did so back in 2011.

Unlike in New Jersey and Delaware, the only other two states in the U.S. with regulated online betting markets, Nevada restricts Internet wagering activities to online poker only. Online wagering options in Delaware and New Jersey are more comprehensive, and include online casino games such as blackjack and roulette in addition to real money online poker.

So far, the fledgling U.S. online betting industry remains small, largely as a consequence of three states with relatively low populations being, at the moment, the only legalized markets.

Look for that to change, says Gambling Compliance.

Said Gambling Compliance’s director of research Chris Krafcik, “In 2013, 10 states considered legislation that would legalize online casino-style gambling, which was a historic high. This year is shaping up to be at least as busy.”

States that are expected to seriously consider the matter this year include Colorado, Hawaii, Iowa, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Mississippi and the heavily populated states of IllinoisPennsylvania, and California.

More than half of those states already have had online wagering legislation introduced, so says the Washington Post.

According to Gambling Compliance, it is also possible that Nevada may seek to broaden the scope of its online betting operations. The tiny Nevada online poker market has struggled with low player volume since its launch last April.

Gridlock at federal level credited with states’ movement

“It is an election year, which means that virtually all politically controversial subjects, including Internet gambling, will be seen through the risk-averse lens of re-election,” Gambling Compliance commented, in pointing out that action on the topic at the federal level is likely out of the question for the foreseeable future.

That Internet betting remains a hot-button topic is one reason that optimism for the passage of national online gambling legislation is dim, but it bears noting that in the heavily divided, gridlocked Congress, it is not conceivable that such a bill would find success given the GOP’s historic antipathy toward regulating Internet gambling.

Battle may be hard-fought

As we reported yesterday, a public battle is brewing between anti and pro-online gambling factions.

Responding to Sheldon Adelson’s recent mobilization of a group committed to combatting regulated online wagering web sites, an opposing group was born this week, the Coalition for Consumer and Online Protection (C4COP).

That group seeks to counter Adelson’s message that iGaming is intrinsically bad for society, and has the backing of some gaming industry heavy hitters, including MGM, the American Gaming Association (AGA), and the Poker Players Alliance (PPA).

About Cliff Spiller

Cliff Spiller has been an online writer for 14 years. He worked for Small World Marketing for a decade, where he covered topics like gaming, sports, movies, and how-to guides. Since 2014, he has blogged about US and international gambling news on BestOnlineCasinos.com, USPokerSites.com, and LegalUSPokerSites.com

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