From Nevada to New Jersey, states are lining up to legislate their way into the next big billion dollar market – online gambling and mobile real-money casino games and apps.
In the background of statewide efforts to legalize online gaming, efforts to pass a national bill pertinent to the cause are gaining steam. Legislation that opens the door to online gambling in the U.S. could be introduced into the U.S. House of Representatives within weeks.
Recent reports indicate that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada) is in the process of building a coalition to support sweeping legislation related to online gambling.
“I think the states’ passage gives some incentive to the federal government to act,” Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas), author of the failed 2011 online poker bill, recently said in an interview. “Whether you’re for or against Internet gambling… you don’t want 50 sets of state laws. You want uniformity.”
In recent years, proposed federal legislation has only been aimed at the regulation of Internet poker. Other forms of online gambling have remained prohibited.
According to the American Gaming Association, approximately 85 nations have already legalized online gambling with an estimated $35 billion bet worldwide (online) on an annual basis. The AGA projects that the U.S. market will touch $10 billion annually by 2017 (that’s up from $4 billion in “unauthorized gambling” in 2011.)