In the United States, gambling is regulated on both a state and federal level. This includes games of chance and skill, such as poker and betting on sports. The federal government has been scathing about online gambling, although they have not thrown their weight behind it to the extent of their counterparts in other countries. Although the legality of betting on sports online is still debated, the US Supreme Court overturned the Federal ban on sports betting in 2018.
For example, New Jersey is a leader in iGaming. It is the first state to legalize an online casino. According to statistics, the Garden State generates a staggering $80 million in revenue each month from online casinos. Additionally, the state has the third highest online poker players in the country. Despite a relatively small population, online poker has been an enormous success thanks to companies like PokerStars and Full Tilt.
Other states are following suit. Arizona, Nevada, Mississippi, Utah and Arkansas all offer limited online gambling options. A few states have taken the helm in this regard, though no one can claim to be the best. If the United States does in fact legalize internet gambling, then the legal and regulatory landscape will inevitably change. No state wants to be left out. Fortunately, lawmakers have a number of legislative options.
One of the most sweeping proposals is to create a new “gambling oversight” office within the Treasury Department. Senators Harry Reid and Dean Heller are working on the proposal. They want to protect taxpayers by ensuring that gambling is conducted fairly and within the law. However, it would be remiss of the legislature to ignore the many controversies surrounding online gambling.
Of course, if the state is going to take a stance on gambling, it has to consider revenue generation first. A number of states have proposed the idea of allowing residents to wager on sporting events through the Internet. Several are also considering introducing laws to regulate online poker, a game that has been enjoyed by millions of Americans since it was first introduced in the 1980s.
However, the most important consideration is that the government has to be willing to step up and take a more active role in regulation. While the state might be able to regulate sports wagering, there are several reasons to suspect that the Federal Government might not be.
One way that the government could do that would be to establish a uniform standard for the type of legislation that is applicable to all online operators. That would make the process of establishing a regulatory framework for the Internet much easier. Also, the government may be able to avoid the pitfalls of a rogue regulator. And finally, a federal law on gambling is inevitable. So, how long does it take to get there?
Lastly, it has been argued that the most effective solution is a combination of a state based approach, along with a federal government led initiative. Since states have a vested interest in tax revenue, no taxing authority wants to be left out.