There’s a strong likelihood that three states in the US might finally pass laws in 2017 to make online gambling legal. There hasn’t been any change in the online gambling sector in the country since 2013, but it’s about time that important changes are made. After all, the growing numbers of Americans playing at offshore casino sites indicates that there is immense demand for online gambling services. At present, only three states have legalized gambling on the internet.
Chris Grove and Adam Krejcik, two industry analysts, have released a report that makes very interesting reading. Known as U.S. iGaming Industry Update – 2017, the report indicated that anything from one to three states will legalize online gambling during the year.
Pennsylvania to Play an Important Role
The gambling industry is looking to the state of Pennsylvania to kick start online gaming services. Grove and Krejcik are of the opinion that this state seems the likeliest to pass pro-online gambling laws. They also believe that a couple of other states which are undecided about the issue as of now will take the plunge once Pennsylvania shows the way. The state has a population of 12 million people, and opening online gambling to them will have a huge impact on the industry. At the same time, if the state does not pass the necessary laws, it seems very unlikely that any other states will follow suit.
The House of Representatives in Pennsylvania has previously introduced a bill on the subject, and it is waiting to be passed by the Senate. The bill will require support from Republicans and Democrats alike in order to become law.
California and New York Undecided
The gambling industry has also been looking at both of these states in anticipation of pro-online gambling laws. However, only New York seems even remotely likely to get an online gambling industry in 2017. There is a chance that the state will make online poker legal. State Senator John Boniac reintroduced a bill for online poker and it made it past the Senate in 2016. However, it isn’t all smooth sailing for the industry in spite of having legislative support.
The state legislature had legalized Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) as well in the state by terming it a game of skill and not entirely luck. There is a litigation going on as of now concerning this vertical, and it might have a negative effect on online poker. There are fears that arguments against DFS could be used against online Poker because this is also a game of skill.
When it comes to California, the state hasn’t been able to pass the necessary laws to legalize online gambling over the past decade or so. However, the situation here will only change if PokerStars decides to exit the state.
What About Massachusetts?
There is a fair chance that Massachusetts will expand into the online gambling industry. The state has an online gambling bill up for discussion as of the present. Lawmakers have also instituted a study panel to examine daily fantasy sports and also regulations concerning online gambling. Incidentally, the state had made DFS legal the previous year. The state might even launch an online lottery very soon. Lawmakers in the state do seem to be keen to legalize online gambling, but there is a good chance that this will happen in 2018 if it does happen at all.
Michigan and Connecticut are also flirting with the idea of making online gambling legal but it is unlikely that any progress will happen any time soon. What’s more is that the Federal government is unlikely to do anything to deter any states from legalizing online gambling.