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Major movements on the State-level – US Gaming 2017
Online gambling has been one of the more controversial topics in the United States ever since the infamous UIGEA in 2006. Since that time, although a few states were able to create a legal framework for online gambling within their borders (Nevada, New Jersey, and Delaware) the situation on a federal level has remained stagnant but is beginning to push the boundaries within individual States. With 2017 a few months in, a review of current developments is worth a quick run-through.
The Bill from Penn
Pennsylvania has been flirting with legalization of online gaming for some time now, and the state continues down this road in 2017. A new 209-page bill was introduced to the House of Representatives by Representative George Dunbar, representing an all-encompassing proposal regulating everything from the worlds of both online and land-based gambling. Apart from defining taxes and legality issues, the bill also leaves a positive pathway for Pennsylvania to enter interstate compacts with other states where online gambling is legal.
In Mississippi, House Bill 967, aiming to regulate Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) in the state has been forwarded to the State Senate. If passed and approved by the governor, the bill creates a possibility for establishing DFS sites in the state as well as daily fantasy contests in land-based casinos. At the same time though, the update is that the State Lottery Bill was shot down by the House.
Maryland takes it to task
Another state seeking a legal framework for sports betting is Maryland. A new House bill proposes establishing a Task Force to study the implementation of sports gaming. The Task Force should include representatives of all relevant parties: politicians, regulators, as well as casino and horse racing operators.
The biggest obstacle to passing the bill is PASPA, which effectively forbids any type of betting on amateur or professional sports on the federal level, and state legislators are powerless to do anything unless the US Supreme Court decides to introduce some changes.
So, the battle for legalized online gambling in the US continues, and if the first couple of months of 2017 are any indicator, this year could see some major movements in this department.