Internet Gambling is Future of the Industry Say Experts

At a conference held last May a group of online and brick-and-mortar casino executives said that internet gambling is the future of the industry. At the East Coast Gaming Congress a New Jersey legislator said that there will probably be a ballot question this year asking the state’s residents to amend New Jersey’s state constitution to allow gambling on the internet. At the gathering two executives from two internet betting organizations and Caesars Entertainment said that the internet will provide the gambling industry with the best opportunities for future growth. The participants made the statements and predictions despite the fact that federal legalization of online gambling seems a long way off.  Jan Jones, senior vice president of government relations for Caesars Entertainment stated “You’re not going to stop the Internet. You can regulate it, you can put in protections, but it’s going to exist.”

Members of a panel at the conference estimated that the legalization of online gambling would generate about $80 billion dollars annually. The president of the U.S. Online Gaming Association, Melanie Brenner, said that currently about 10 million people play online poker. Brenner stated “That’s what they look forward to. This is the path to growth for (the casino) industry.” Richard Bronson, chairman of U.S. Digital Gaming, said that individual states will legalize online gambling soon. He told attendees that the recent seizures of poker sites indicate that the federal government indicates that it is highly unlikely internet gambling will be approved giving states the opportunity to legalize online gambling in a piecemeal fashion. Bronson stated “I believe strongly there will not be a national online gambling bill passed in the U.S. I’ve yet to find one governor, one legislator, one lottery director that tells me otherwise. They want this to be a state issue.”

New Jersey was on track to become the first state to legalize online gambling but Governor Christie vetoed the bill. Christie suggested that lawmakers put a constitutional amendment before the voters and let them decide the fate of online gambling in New Jersey. New Jersey State Assemblyman John Burzichelli said that the legislature intends to do just that. Burzichelli told the conference “Next year there’s probably going to be a question on the ballot to allow Internet gambling. Whether or not New Jersey voters amend the Constitution is up in the air. We came close, and we’re going to do it again. We’re going to take another run at it.”

While the conference focused on poker online bingo players were also interested in what the gaming experts had to say. Recently one internet bingo operator closed their network of bingo sites because of recent actions by the US government. The seizure of one internet bingo sites has many players nervous about the fate of internet bingo in the United States.