Expect at least 10 states this year to consider bills that would legalize online gambling, according to a new study.
All that action will come amid federal inaction, according to the report from GamblingCompliance, a gambling industry research provider. Lobbying federally fell off a cliff at the start of 2013 (see chart at right). And the climate isn’t right this year, either.
“It is an election year, which means that virtually all politically controversial subjects, including Internet gambling, will be seen through the risk-averse lens of re-election,” GamblingCompliance notes.
Instead, it expects to see movement to consider legislation that would authorize or expand Internet gambling in at least 10 states: California, Colorado, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. In six of those states — California, Hawaii, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Jersey and Pennsylvania — such legislation has either already been introduced or carried over from last year.
Eight states considered but didn’t pass such bills last year, while two, Nevada and New Jersey, did. Gambling began in both those states in 2013, along with Delaware, which passed an online gaming measure the year before.
In New Jersey, online gaming began on Nov. 26 and generated $8.3 million by year’s end, with nearly three fourths of that going to just two operators: Caesars Interactive Entertainment and a joint venture between Boyd Gaming and Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment.
GamblingData predicts New Jersey’s online gambling market will generate $262 million in gross gambling revenue this year and $463 million by 2017.