As it stands right now, individual states are free to prohibit or practice gambling of their borders while significant regulations and limits are placed on interstate which activity. In recent years, online video games has seen harsher restrictions. With the Unlawful Web Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 (UIEGA), it was not explicitly banned but rather it was online financial transactions which were outlawed. This meant that online financial transactions from gambling providers were now illegal which resulted in various offshore gambling operators excluding US buyers from their services.
Existing in this legitimate grey area, it is no longer a issue of if online gambling will get into the US market but when as well as perhaps how. As lately as this month, three states possess legalized online gambling and plan to begin offering bets by the end of this year. Naturally, a gaming organization in Las Vegas known 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 a few form or another.
Frank Fahrenkopf, president of the American Gambling Association has said that “Unless there is a federal bill passed, we are going to have the best expansion of legalized gambling in america. I don’t believe that’s what anyone intended, but it is what we’re witnessing.” This poses lots of questions and of course concerns for many existing commercial casinos in addition to American policy makers. Will lawful online gambling mean fewer men and women in brick and mortar casinos? Will this create 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, ex – chairman of New Jersey’s Council On Compulsive Gambling features voiced concern that with all the good this could do to create income and revenue for personal states there may be problems with an increase in compulsive gambling. There is particular concern regarding social media in the US as some locations like Zynga have previously begun taking real-money bets.
Taking in poker online and concerns, many resort casinos are already making ideas to extend into online gambling to complement their physical casinos. Geoffrey Stewart, general manager of Caesars Online Poker has said “Like any business, you’re always searching for what is another distribution channel.”