In late 2011 the Department of Justice decided to allow each individual state their own voice in the online gambling argument. Soon after, Nevada was the landmark first state to pass online gambling legislation. Delaware and New Jersey have since also legalized online gambling in some form for their residents and visitors. There are also another dozen or so states which are currently pushing for online gambling, but there is at least one United States law maker who would like to see a blanket piece of legislation which would regulate the entire US.
One piece of nationwide legislation governing and legalizing online gambling in the US would make for a much more consistent picture, but states are concerned that this would shift the majority of revenue to the federal government. Peter King is a Republican congressman from New York, and he introduced legislation Thursday, June 5 that would allow gambling in the US on a federal level. His argument is that consumers will have a uniform policy, and regulating the companies which offer the service would deliver a safer and more efficient experience for the online gambler in the US.
Neither of those arguments can be confronted since there is no current US-wide online gambling policy. King went on to state that “a common federal standard will ensure strong protections for consumers,” while also effectively addressing underage gambling and other problems. He also believes a nationwide platform for online gambling would provide much simpler access for businesses, regulators and players alike. There is no denying that online gambling will generate billions of dollars, and at least one estimate predicts a minimum of $10 million in revenue generated from US online gambling by 2017.
The American Gaming Association made that claim, also pointing out that approximately $4 billion a year is already spent in the US at online casinos, poker rooms and sportsbooks which are not located in the United States. Nationwide online gambling would allow that money to stay right here in our country, and would be a boon at both the state and federal levels. Nationwide online gambling legislation has been knocked down in Congress in the past, but the King proposal has at least one significant difference in its favor.
His proposed federal level blanket online gambling would allow individual states to opt out of federal online poker requirements, if they so desire. This would give individual states the choice to regulate and run their own online gambling enterprise, and would probably be more beneficial to those states than a federal piece of legislation. Just last month Nevada finally and historically opened the doors to the first legal online poker room in the United States since the DOJ reversal in 2011.