According to U.S. Representative Barney Frank, who is chair of the House Financial Services Committee, new legislation is planned that will largely legalize online gambling. He said the purpose of the legislation is not to shut down online gambling sites as such, but to legalize online gambling and enforceable rules.
The New York Times reported November 7th that the bill, which will be called the «Multi-player interactive gaming and betting act», will in fact legalize online betting and poker on U.S. based land based sportsbooks and riverboat casinos. However, it will not legalize online gambling at state lotteries, Indian casinos and off shore gambling sites such as Sun Bingo.
The bill was outlined by Mr. Frank on November 7th after being transferred to the House Rules Committee from the Rules Committee on November 5th. The Rules Committee approved the legislation on November 14th by a vote of 15-4. Now it moves to the House of Representatives, which will have the authority to vote on the bill and pass it or modify it. If it is passed by the House, it will become a law within hours.
The legislation comes as no surprise seeing in Washington, D.C., the seat of the U.S. government. The majority of Americans support online gambling legalization, and several polls have shown that Americans would support such a measure.
However, representatives of big Las Vegas casinos and other gaming industry see the legalization of online gambling as a threat to their profits. All Las Vegas properties experienced a boost in their gaming revenue when the city passed an act that legalized online gambling last year. Some industry representatives have predicted that the Las Vegas establishment’s anticipated revenue could be as much as $400 million annually instead of the originally projected $300 million. This would be a windfall for many small and medium size Las Vegas casinos, which have seen their revenue levels eroded by the proliferation of online gambling in recent years.
But bigger Las Vegas casinos that have built their profits with their aggressive marketing campaigns have managed to remain successful with their online strategies. So many other gambling websites have followed suit and the industry is now considered to be readily available for all kinds of gamblers.
Despite the progress, Americans will still have a very challenging time in the management of their gambling revenues. Online gambling is not completely regarded as a legal or regulated form of gambling, and many players see it as nothing more than a weakness of the current gambling laws. It is worth repeating, that no law has been proposed to legalize online gambling. But some progress has been made in the area of developing a framework for a discussion on the regulation of online gambling. The question as to whether the United States of America should allow online gambling in all states is still open for discussion.
Such an important question should be asked: does the promotion of online gambling through the media, advertising and tournaments such as the World Series of AfaPoker, charities and similar actions by private foundations and organizations limit the chances for children to have an uncontrolled fun at home?