Possible come-back for online US gambling

After years of legal blockades on internet gaming, the issue is back in congress with prospects for a royal flush

After years of legal blockades on internet gaming, the issue is back in congress with prospects for a royal flush in the industry

A small shift occurred in the US government in 2011 when the Justice Department proposed an end to the complete ban on online gaming, with the exception of sports betting. Now there is further movement as several bills for the regulation of online gambling have been brought to the House of Representatives.  

It has not taken very long for some states to pursue action; Nevada as the obvious example and both New Jersey and Delaware following suit and passing legislation to get the go ahead.

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Expectedly, there is a fair amount of opposition to the movement with risks of fraud, money laundering and under-age gambling, all still points of contention. Even Sheldon Adelson, casino owner and billionaire has taken issue, by funding an anti-gambling website stopinternetgambling.com.  He is exceptionally concerned about the dangers of online gambling and was reported saying: “I’m a father, grandfather… I do not want my children to have the opportunity to become addicted to gaming. And poker, in my opinion, would become one of the most addictive games.”

But in reality, the wave is going to be difficult to stop and as Michael Waxman, spokesman for the Safe and Secure Internet Gambling Initiative, has indicated: “The prospects for congressional action are now better than at any time…we’re down to the decision over whether Internet gambling activity is going to be regulated on a state-by-state basis or by the federal government.”

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