Politics Will Keep Internet Gambling Off the Table in 2012

Internet bingo and poker players in the United States have been hoping for legislation for years that would legalize tax and regulate internet gambling in the US. Earlier in the year some gaming experts said that such legislation was possible by the end of 2011 or sometime during 2012. Unfortunately the prospects for legal internet gaming, including online bingo, have dimmed, and most experts say that the presidential elections in 2012 will stall any action on the issue. For players that had been hoping for legal non deposit bingo stalled legislation has been a bid disappointment.

Timing for internet gaming legislation “couldn’t be worse”

According to one expert, politics will keep internet gaming off any 2012 legislative agenda. He says that since 2012 is a major election year that the GOP will block any attempt to legalize online gambling, such as bingo games. The GOP’s primary base are by and large social conservatives who oppose all forms of gambling. He also points out that the timing for poker legislation could not be worse since the heavy handed actions by the justice department last April 15th. Groups such as the Poker Player’s Alliance have taken the position that poker is a game of skill and should not be classified as gambling. The sad fact is that gambling opponents are not interested in hearing the ‘skill vs. luck’ and could care less about mathematical data. In a statement displaying an astounding lack of knowledge about poker Focus on the Family mouthpiece and resident gambling ‘expert’ Chad Hills stated “not even the best poker player can predict what card is coming next.”


Conservative Estimate: 2015

In a year when the GOP must cater to its most conservative elements passing gaming legislation will be a near impossibility. What all this means is that most likely online gamblers will have to wait until 2013 before any internet gambling bill has a possibility of moving through congress. Should such a bill pass in 2013 it could be 2015 before American bingo and poker players can access bingo and poker sites legally. Conservatives remain opposed to any expansion of internet gaming despite figures showing that legal internet gambling would create about 10,000 new jobs and would generate $42 billion in revenue over 10 years.

State action still a possibility

There is some hope for internet gamblers. Several states have announced plans to offer legal bingo and poker to residents. Washington D.C. is already implementing plans to offer legal online gambling, possibly even including free slots, in 2012. The chairman of the Nevada Gaming Board recently announced that the state will issue internet poker licenses as early as the first quarter of 2012. The prospects for legalization at the federal level do not look good at the present time but that could change after the elections.