Online Gambling Industry Set to Grow in 2019
US online gambling has been gaining steam ever since 2011, when the DOJ’s Office of Legal Council concluded states should be able to regulate the industry within its own borders.
Until then, the contentious issue had been whether the Wire Act of 1961 applied to other forms of gambling than sports betting. Some reports indicate the DOJ may be about to change its course, but nothing has yet been confirmed.
For the moment, only handful of states allow for legal online gambling, including New Jersey, Delaware and Nevada, yet more will likely open their doors in 2019.
The new battlefront
Michigan’s legislature recently ruled in favor of legal online gambling, only to witness its proposal getting vetoed by outgoing Governor Rick Scott. The bill would have allowed new gambling operators to establish themselves within the great lake state, with a flat tax rate of 8% on all revenue. The new income was earmarked for investments in public facilities, including infrastructure and the state’s school system.
Some claim the Governor’s action was a result of lobbying by an anti online gambling coalition spearheaded by Sheldon Adelson. Owners of land based casinos have made no secret of their goal to prevent any further legalization of online gambling within the US.
Sports betting is here to stay
When SCOTUS struck down the ban on sports betting, it marked a milestone in the fight to legalize online gambling. Sports betting is believed to hold tremendous potential in the years to come, and could bring in billions of dollars in extra revenue to the states.
Currently both Delaware and New Jersey are working to legalize sports betting, drafting legislation that will pave the way for a full launch sometime in late 2019. Judging by the current push to legalize online gambling, more states are likely to follow in the near future.
Pennsylvania and New York
Besides Michigan, several other states have pushed to legalize gambling within their borders. One of these are Pennsylvania, which officially legalized the industry in 2017, under Governor Tom Wolf. Its market is expected to launch on a full scale by the end of 2019, with the delay caused by regulatory issues and the licensing hurdles.
New York currently has no way to gamble online, however they do have a neighboring state that has the option. It is expected that until New York enters the industry, many will simply travel the border to Pennsylvania to play.
Following the legalization of online gambling in New Jersey during 2014, many states have followed suite. As the industry begins to grow, states will and are lining up to pass fresh casino legislation.