The East Coast Gaming Congress (ECGC) was held in Atlantic City, New Jersey this May 16 and 17, and this is the 16th annual get-together to discuss online gambling legalization in the United States. Also referred to as the United States Gaming Congress on Online Gambling, ECGC invites only proven leaders in the online gaming community to get together for a two-day roundtable to discuss the past, present and future of online gaming in the United States. The hottest topic is year was the “federal versus state” online gambling legislation position.
The Department of Justice late last year ruled that rather than change their position on federally regulated online gaming in the United States, they would pass that ability down to the state level. Basically, each of the individual United States is now responsible for deciding whether or not they will offer some type of regulated and legalized form of online poker play, as well as other gambling possibilities.
Nevada was the first state to pass a legal online gambling piece of legislation for their constituents, but states such as New Jersey, Illinois, Hawaii and California are at the forefront of passing some type of stateside online poker or gaming legislation as well. Many of the representatives shared the opinion that individual states having been given the federally recognized ability to develop their own online gaming platform is fine with them. Richard Bronson is the chairman of gaming supplier US Digital Gaming, and he remarked that since “Congress can’t agree on what day it is”, the idea that they would pass any type of federal regulation supporting online gambling in the United States “is ridiculous.”
Bronson also pointed out that over 40 million people traveled to visit Las Vegas last year, but that 40 million people visit Facebook every five days. He went on to say that such an incredible online commercial opportunity should not pass us by, and believes that some type of online gambling will be legally taking place in one or two states this year. Now that Nevada has passed online poker legislation, they announced they would be selling licenses within the next 30 to 60 days. Developing websites, payment portals and infrastructures will take a while, but Nevada residents could actually see legalized online gaming from their favorite PC in late 2012.
Another pro-online gaming Advocate is New Jersey State Sen. Ray Lesniak. He was one of the keynote speakers at this year’s ECGC gathering, and he mentioned the recent veto by the New Jersey Governor of a bill that had been overwhelmingly supported by the entire New Jersey legislator was costing New Jersey “hundreds of millions of dollars.” Spectrum Gaming Consultancy claimed to have been approached by European venture capitalists, commercial gaming companies here in the United States, Native American Indian tribes and state lotteries, who were all positioning themselves for rapid entry into the online gaming community in the United States once legislation is passed. Now that one state, Nevada, has already okayed legalized online gambling for their citizens, can the rest of the United States be far behind?