Online Gambling in the USA: Progress or Stalemate?

Online Gambling in the USA: Progress or Stalemate?

The United States is known as a country where most new technologies are introduced. This was the case with television, commercial flight, mass-produced automobiles, smartphones, social networks, and many others innovative things. With one major exception: online gambling, a global industry triggered by the innovative work of two Canadian youngsters. It seems that, even though the business was well received by the public, it was not the case with the regulators: the US government made it virtually impossible to gamble online in the US. Which means that you can't claim your free new player welcome bonuses at 7Sultans or enjoy the games at the 7Sultans Mobile in a real money gaming mode. Although important changes happened in the US online gambling market recently. While they might not restore the access of the masses to the 7Sultans and its likes, it might bring back online casinos and poker rooms to the US.

The current legal status of online casinos and poker rooms in the US is - for lack of a better word - controversial. On one hand, individual states have the liberty of deciding whether they want to regulate online gambling or not, in all its forms except online sports betting, which is banned at a federal level. On the other, proponents and opponents of the business are often clashing - legally speaking, of course. Online casinos and poker rooms are seen by many as sources of tax income at hand, a way to round up state budgets and put some well-deserved liquidity in the states' purses. Yet it has opponents, too - in some states, tribal operators see it as a threat to their market share, continuously fighting for carve outs and restrictive conditions.

Currently, there is only one state in the US with a comprehensive online gambling regulation: New Jersey. Here, online casinos and poker rooms were launched as early as 2013, and it seems the decision was a good bet. Since then, the state has pocketed over $100 million in taxes generated by the business, and the total revenue generated by the business in the state has exceeded $500 million. Nevada and Delaware have only legalized online poker at the same time, with their results lagging behind NJ's - online poker's revenue generating potential is well below that of the online casino business, after all. There are many states in the US that at least consider legalizing all forms of online gambling. Pennsylvania is the one where the most progress has been made, with its online gambling bill currently being pushed back and forth between the House and the Senate. Similar bills are in the works in states like Illinois, New York, California, and several others, although many of them are only considering online poker (legalizing online casinos would require a referendum). Progress is being made on the US online gambling market yet it's slow and filled with obstacles to overcome.

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