There are at least 10 states who are looking at various bills to legalize online gambling in 2014, to join Nevada, New Jersey and Delaware, but the prospects of a federal
to enact a national law are dimmer than ever. Some of the states considering legislation are California, Hawaii, Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and Mississippi. In California several Indian tribes are considering online gambling and are attempting to agree on how to best legalize internet poker. Tribal leaders from two coalitions met last month and said that they have made progress but still need time to work out a pact.
However, in Mississippi, a bill died on Tuesday in the state legislature that would have legalized internet gaming. Whether this is a sign that another bill will take it’s place or that the legislation will die there for this year is anyone’s guess. Delaware, which already has online gaming is seeking several cross-border agreements with other states to kick start their bill which is off to a very slow start. New Jersey is also looking at this tactic and indeed, it will be necessary for states that have online gaming to do so if it is to thrive and expand. It is much to cumbersome to only offer gaming within state lines and the pool of gamblers is not large enough to sustain the sites in the long term. Much like most businesses, new customers must be cultivated on a constant basis and if these states cannot agree on pacts with cross-border states, the legalized gaming they have now will likely die.
New Jersey’s sites raked in nearly $8.4 million after their late November launch and the end of last year and the state will release January figures soon, so revenue in that state is looking good.
The worst part of the news is that there is little hope for a national bill this year simply because it is a midterm election year and anything considered politically risky is unlikely to be tackled. Of course, jack-ass billionaire Sheldon Adelson is vigorously funding a campaign to ban online gambling. If it isn’t obvious that he has a conflict of interest with his bricks and mortar Vegas casinos, then I don’t know what is. If I have to read one more article written by this pompous ass about how online gaming is evil and creates addicts while he spends his billions that he has made from his gaming establishments, I might puke. What an arrogant jerk-off this guy is.
Caesars Entertainment continues to champion online gaming though and they lobbied more heavily than any group last year to legalize online gambling, so maybe they can outweigh Sheldon Adelson’s antics. In any case, don’t count on 2014 bringing any new developments on the national level for internet poker. The prospects are dim at best.
Chris Wilcox is the author of The No BS Guide to Winning No Limit Texas Holdem and a professional poker coach.