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US Feds to Propose Online Gambling Legislation This Spring

In late 2011 the United States Department of Justice decided to flip flop an age-old position regarding online gambling. They moved from illegalizing all forms of online gambling in the US to allowing each state to decide its own destiny. That has since resulted in Nevada, New Jersey and Delaware passing legislation legalizing online gambling in some form in those three states. And California, Texas, Louisiana, Pennsylvania, Iowa and other states are all currently mulling over the possibility of legalizing online gambling as well.

If Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada) sees his perseverance pay off, Americans could benefit from a nationwide online gambling piece of legislation as early as this Spring. The senator from the Silver State has previously pushed for passage of a comprehensive federal piece of legislation which would allow online gambling across the United States. And in his two previous efforts, he has been unsuccessful, but has garnered support and experience along the way. One major factor of online gambling is not being disputed. Opponents and proponents alike have no argument over the case that online gambling in the United States is a multibillion dollar industry.

And those pushing for statewide or nationwide online gambling acceptance would prefer those billions of dollars stay home here in the United States. Currently, it is not illegal for US citizens to enjoy playing online poker or some other online casino game for money. It is, however, illegal for a company in the United States to offer online gambling currently, except in the three states mentioned above. Reid is pushing for a blanket legislation that would provide United States citizens with a clear and consistent piece of regulation, no matter which state they live in.

With more and more states close to passing their own laws approving online gambling, the feds would be wise to get their own piece of legislation passed quickly. Efforts to pass such a national bill are gaining steam, as Reid builds a coalition of support that he hopes will successfully deliver a federal online gaming package this year. In a recent interview he stated that he should be able to present such a bill as early as this Spring, and he has substantial backers in his corner.

Representative Joe Barton (R-Texas) says he believes “… the states’ passage gives some incentive to the federal government to act.” He is the author of a failed 2011 online poker bill, and he says it is his belief that whether an American is for or against Internet gambling, they want uniformity instead of 50 different sets of laws. The American Gaming Association says their research shows the US market for online gambling could reach at least $10 billion annually by 2017. Currently, their research shows that 85 separate nations already offer some form of legalized online gambling, taking in an approximate $35 billion every year.