The United States has made substantial progress on online gambling legislation in recent months. There are now a number of different states that have legalized some form of online gambling, and more are always in the process of considering bills to potentially permit the activity within their borders.
As many will know, this is a major shift from just a few years ago, when online gambling was considered illegal in most states and was also rather frowned upon by much of the American public.
What has caused this change? And what does it mean for the future of online gambling? In this article, we will take a look at the current state of online gambling legislation in the United States and what the future may hold.
Of course, there were naturally going to be a number of benefits that have come from the introduction of online gambling legislation in the United States. While everyone might find it difficult to agree on the activity itself, there will be some that will find it rather difficult to deny that there have been some widespread positives to have come out of the substantial progression the US has made in recent years.
One of the most significant benefits is that it has created jobs and generated revenue for state governments. According to a report from the American Gaming Association, online gambling could create thousands of new jobs in the United States. This is a major boost to the economy and could help offset some of the job losses that have been seen in recent years; especially following the events that have taken place as recently as the start of the decade.
Another benefit of the introduction of online gambling legislation is that it has helped to increase tax revenue for state governments. This is because when people gamble online, they are required to pay taxes on their winnings. This extra tax revenue can be used to fund important programs and services within states, which can potentially help improve the lives of residents as they will have better access to potentially life-saving amenities and facilities.
Finally, online gambling legislation has also helped to create a level playing field for casinos and other businesses that offer gambling services. This is because all businesses are now required to follow the same rules and regulations regarding online gambling. This makes it fairer for everyone involved and ensures that the industry is regulated properly. A knock-on effect of this is the fact that players are also able to benefit greatly, too, as they will also be protected against any potentially dangerous activity, especially as money and sensitive personal data are typically being used.
The first state to legalize online gambling was Nevada, back in 2013. Since then, a handful of other states have followed suit, including Delaware, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. These states have all legalized some form of online gambling, whether it be casino games, poker, or sports betting. As mentioned, there are more states that are considering bills that would do the same, thus subsequently making the list of states that permit the activity legally. US gambling sites are available for all these states already, but you can expect to see this list continue to expand in the imminent future.
So what has caused this shift? Unsurprisingly, there are a number of factors.
For one thing, public opinion has changed on online gambling. In 2006, just 26% of Americans thought it should be legal; by 2018, that number had risen to 51%. This change in public opinion has likely been driven partly by the growing popularity of online gambling. As more and more people gamble online, they are becoming more comfortable with the idea that it is a perfectly legitimate activity.
At the same time, the industry has become much better at regulating itself. In the early days of online gambling, there were a lot of concerns about things like cheating and money laundering. But today, there are a number of different regulatory bodies that oversee the industry, and these concerns have largely been addressed. This increased regulation has made it easier for states to legalize online gambling, as they know that it can be done safely and responsibly.
Lastly, it would not be a surprise if the administrations of certain states had seen just how valuable the market could be to them economically. As highlighted before, they are able to raise capital via means of taxation, and with millions of dollars potentially being generated via a new revenue stream – coupled with the difficulty that the world has gone through economically – it has perhaps become a decision that is a no-brainer and more of a necessity than a choice for some.
So what does the future hold for online gambling in the United States?
It seems likely that more states will legalize it in the coming years. And as public opinion continues to shift in favor of online gambling, we may eventually see it legalized at the federal level. This would be a major victory for the industry and would open up online gambling to millions of Americans who currently can not participate because the state that they live in is unwilling to introduce online gambling legislation.
But even if online gambling is never legalized nationwide, it seems clear that it is here to stay. More and more Americans are finding ways to gamble online, regardless of the laws in their state.
Indeed, as the industry continues to grow and mature, it will become increasingly difficult for states to keep it illegal. So whether you are a fan of online gambling or not, it is time to start getting used to it; chances are, it is here to stay.