Online Gaming Expansion Talks Heat Up Heading Into Summer

legal-poker-mapWave 2 of online gaming expansion in the United States may soon be upon us.

This is a significant development considering the first wave of regulated online gaming in the U.S. occurred back in 2013. Nevada was the first state to go live in late April followed by Delaware and New Jersey in October and November respectively.

Subsequent efforts stalled in 2014, and the industry’s 2013 optimism quickly turned to pessimism amid disappointing revenue numbers in New Jersey, Delaware, and Nevada, not to mention the introduction of a Sheldon Adelson led push to ban online gambling at the federal level.

Good news; it now appears we are back on track, as several states are seriously exploring online gaming expansion in 2015 and real, measurable, progress is being made.

California’s significant step

Last week the California Assembly Governmental Organization Committee took an historic vote when they unanimously passed AB 431, Assemblyman Adam Gray’s online poker bill.

While it may not seem like a very big deal, California has been trying to pass an online poker bill since 2009 and this was the first time a committee even brought one of the dozen or so bills that have been introduced over the years up for a vote.

While progress has been made, several hurdles remain before the bill (which is little more than a shell bill at this point in time) takes the next step and is brought before the full assembly for a vote.

Pennsylvania’s serious-meter registering a 9

While California has been busy dragging its feet in recent years another state, Pennsylvania, has been methodically moving forward and now seems poised to legalize online gaming – if not this year than next.

The House Gaming Oversight Committee is now chaired by an online-friendly representative, John Payne, and he wasted little time in tabling an online gaming legalization bill with the support of the committee’s democratic co-chair Nick Kotik.

In addition to the numerous online gaming hearings the committee is holding, another indicator iGaming is just around the corner can be seen in the formation of partnerships between Pennsylvania’s land based casinos and online gaming operators:

These publicly announced pairings are a strong indication the major players in the space feel online expansion is a distinct possibility.

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