Three states lead charge for online gaming
October 4, 2012
Jersey will likely be the next U.S. jurisdiction to legalize some forms of
online gaming with California and Iowa potentially following suit over the next
year, said James Kilby, Americas editor of Gaming Compliance, at iGaming
Congress at G2E.
Kilby added that, should New Jersey legalize online gaming coming on the heels of neighboring Delaware, it could spur the legalization of online gaming throughout the northeast.
“New Jersey is the only other state where you could see something possibly happen this year,” said Kilby. “The Legislature has already passed a bill that would license the state’s casino operators to offer poker and online casino gaming within its borders and that was vetoed by Gov. Chris Christie in March. There are two similar bills pending in the state legislature and there seems to be a good degree of political support for them.”
Kilby said it’s still a question to what extent the Gov, Christie will put his support behind Internet gaming and how he sees the sector in relation to his support for Atlantic City’s land-based casinos. There’s also a constitutional issue of whether Internet gaming can be authorized by the Legislature or if it needs to go before the voters in a public referendum. “Certainly New Jersey has a regulatory structure that would enable a transition online fairly easily,” said Kilby.
Beyond that, Kilby said the same states that looked at Internet gaming this year will re-examine it next year. That would be California, Iowa, Illinois, Mississippi and Hawaii. Some of them would seem like long shots, Mississippi especially. Kilby told the audience to focus on two states, California and Iowa, and a region. “California is a big state with a very viable Internet poker market; beyond that, Iowa, which passed an online poker bill this year in its state Senate, but the bill was not taken up by the state’s House of Representatives,” he said. “Also, if you look at the way the land-based market has taken off, I would look at the big cluster of populous northeastern states from West Virginia to Massachusetts. When you look at how table games were legalized due to competitive pressures between the states. With Delaware and New Jersey moving forward, I could see a number of other states taking similar steps to bolster their land-based operations.”
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