States Get Ready to Implement Legal Internet Gambling

By now everyone capable of reading a newspaper knows that three states have legalized internet gambling; Nevada, New Jersey and Delaware. Thousands of players are eagerly awaiting the opening of the legal internet casinos. For gamblers there is good news and bad news. For gamblers in the three states that have legalized online gaming the good news is that they will be able to gamble legally by the end of the year and even earlier in the case of Nevada. New Jersey hopes to be up and running by the end of November and Delaware has set a target date of September 30th. Online gamblers in New Jersey must clear one hurdle; a recent news report said that gamblers must register in person at one of the brick and mortar casinos in Atlantic City.

Jennifer Webb, an analyst for Gambling Compliance, had this to say about the current legality of internet gambling “Until online gambling goes live, it’s definitely still illegal. Webb said that states must issue gaming licenses and test gaming software and platforms. Security measures will also have to pass muster. Nevada is ahead of the pack in all of these areas and will probably be online in early 2013. For the time being online gambling in Nevada will be limited to poker. Several Las Vegas casinos have formed partnerships with British and European online gaming companies that have extensive experience in a regulated gaming environment.

Gamblers not physically located in the three states will not be able to access the games. The laws require all players to be physically located in the state where gaming is legal. Player location can be verified using existing technology. All indications are that the federal government has no intention of interfering with legal internet gaming. Webb stated “Conventional wisdom now is, as long as online gaming is intrastate—within the state—and has proper geolocation and age verification that it’s in compliance with federal law. If it’s legal in New Jersey and legal in Nevada, and they have an agreement, then you could have pooling between the states.”

While Nevada is limiting their online gaming options to poker Delaware and New Jersey plan to offer players a selection of games. In addition to poker there will be internet bingo, blackjack, keno, roulette and slots. In Nevada and New Jersey most interactive gaming licenses will be issued to existing brick and mortar casinos. Casinos have been getting ready for legal internet gaming for a couple of years. States hope to reap huge tax benefits from internet gaming. Webb said that “The revenue estimates [for New Jersey] have ranged between $175 million and $1.5 billion” a year. Other states are joining the rush to legalize internet gaming. States with gambling bills pending include California, Hawaii, Massachusetts, and Iowa.