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iGaming North America 2014 – Internet Gambling Legislation a Huge Victory for US Gamblers

As reported in the Las Vegas Review Journal, important casino executives were in attendance at the iGaming North America 2014 conference which was held at the Planet Hollywood hotel casino in Las Vegas recently. Almost to a man the group of casino owners and managers called online gambling regulation in Delaware, Nevada and New Jersey a definite victory for them and their patrons. They also pointed out that the early predictions of immediate and incredible revenue didn’t come from educated industry analysts and experts. But regulation for online gambling is still seen as a huge success, as well as a breakthrough in the gambling world, which all of the iGaming board members agreed was the wave of the gambling future in America.

Ultimate Gaming’s bigwigs addressed a crowd of nearly 200, while Planet Hollywood’s head chairman Tom Breitling and CEO Tobin Prior made aggressive statements regarding nationwide legislation. Both of those casino executives believe that a single piece of cyber gambling legislation should cover the entire United States. They stated that US regulation means job creation, and the fact that US players can trust the sites that they access via the Internet for their gambling options. Taxing revenue is also attractive. Currently, only the three states mentioned above offer access to American citizens via state-sponsored Internet gambling portals.

Many casino executives in America have long been pushing for some type of US legalization of online gambling. And many state and federal legislatures are also enviously tired of watching millions of dollars of revenue from US Internet gamblers go to reputable offshore websites. These sites obtain legitimate licensing in jurisdictions where Internet gambling is regulated and legal. They provide a top rate experience for US and international poker and casino gamers which are not offered online gambling options from their home country.

The first regulated online poker site in the US offering real money wagering launched in Nevada on April 30. The Caesars-owned WSOP.com opened its doors in both New Jersey and Nevada, after Ultimate Poker made history as the first recognized US Internet poker room. South Point’s Real Gaming opened in late February, and has yet to develop a real presence in Nevada. In all, UP has delivered more than 27 million hands of virtual poker and run more than 200,000 online tournaments in the growing but still infantile United States online gambling industry. Several iGaming North America 2014 attendees and casino owners mentioned that extreme concern over player location and age verification has caused a rather difficult situation for some gamblers in New Jersey, Delaware and Nevada, which has probably limited player pool size and revenue.

Breitling admitted that his company had “incorporated way too many clicks” in the sign-up process, something they have since reconciled. This detailed sign-up process was painful and unfamiliar for many US poker players that have held accounts at legitimate offshore poker parlors. While some casino billionaires, like Las Vegas Sands Corporation chairman Sheldon Adelson, push to disallow Internet gambling for real money of any type in the US, the often touted arguments of brick-and-mortar casino cannibalization has been unfounded. In New Jersey, the further away neighborhoods are located from physical casinos, the more apt those residents are to play poker and casino games online rather than travel to a physical property. The United States online gambling industry also has 10 other states waiting in the wings with current legislation which promotes Internet gambling of some sort.