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US Lawmakers Coming Together to Discuss the Expansion of Legal Online Casinos

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2024-01-05

US Lawmakers Coming Together to Discuss the Expansion of Legal Online Casinos

Lawmakers from around the US will be attending a conference this week, with legal iGaming expansion to be a key topic for discussion. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

Meeting of minds

A conference is taking place this week in Fort Lauderdale that will see lawmakers from different states coming together to discuss gambling-related matters. One of the main topics will be the expansion of legal iGaming across the country.

regulators, lawmakers, and some executives from the industry

About 300 people from 29 states will attend the National Council of Legislators from Gaming States (NCLGS) conference. The list includes regulators, lawmakers, and some executives from the industry. The event will last until Sunday, with an off-site reception taking place at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino to wrap it up.

At an NCLGS meeting about 12 months ago in Las Vegas, attendees were largely optimistic that more states would allow iGaming in the near future. A year later and it’s still the same six states in the market. Rhode Island will be joining the list this year, while only online poker is available in Nevada.

Certain barriers to expansion

Some of the states that are strongly considering legislation include New York, Iowa, Illinois, and Indiana. The profit margins from online casinos are typically much greater than what you get with sportsbooks, which can lead to more tax revenue for states that are considering legalization.

One major concern about expansion is the potential for these platforms to cannibalize land-based casino business, which could then result in job losses. Another concern is the chances of gambling addiction rates increasing due to the accessibility that online casinos would provide.

The only states that currently have legal online casinos are New Jersey, West Virginia, Delaware, Connecticut, Michigan, and Pennsylvania.

Speaking about some of the challenges, Be Global Managing Partner Brendan Bussman explained that people will still go to physical facilities if iGaming is legal because they want access to that in-person experience. He believes that online casinos will appeal to players when it is more inconvenient for them to drive to an actual property and will then instead play through their phones.

Looking forward

The NCLGS will form a committee at this week’s conference to develop model legislation for iGaming. This group will be made up of academics, regulators, industry representatives, and legislators. They will then present the blueprint at the organization’s next conference in July.

The NCLGS was started in 1995 by former Florida state legislator Steven Geller as a non-partisan organization. The original focus was on lottery, horse racing, and land-based casinos.

A big focus at the conference will be newer types of daily fantasy sports products that are very similar to sports betting. Some other topics on the agenda include responsible gambling, advertising, cybersecurity, and the adoption of artificial intelligence. Attendees will be able to visit Gulfstream Park on Friday to watch some horse racing and discuss the future of the sport.




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