The Return of Online Gambling to the US
In the United States many individual states have relaxes their laws against online gambling. So far three states have legalized online gambling; Nevada, Delaware and New Jersey. Other states that plan to legalize online gambling include Illinois, Pennsylvania and California. In 2011 the Justice Department reinterpreted the 1961 Wire Act which cleared the way for states to legalize online gambling. Although the federal ban remains in place several congressmen plan to introduce legislation that will legalize online poker. States plan to use revenues from online gambling to address budget deficits.
In 2006 the online gambling industry was shocked when the US passed a law that barred banks, credit card companies and other financial institutions from processing any transactions related to online gambling. Gaming stocks plummeted on global stock exchanges and several gaming companies withdrew from the US market to avoid prosecution. Since the law was passed there have been several high profile prosecutions of gaming executives and online payment processors. Thousands of online bingo players suddenly found that they could no longer access their favorite sites.
Finally online gambling is here! In Nevada poker fans will be able to play poker on their computers and laptops. On Tuesday, April 30th a Las Vegas-based social gambling company will launch the first legal online poker site in Nevada. For now Ultimate Gaming will only accept wagers from those located in Nevada. Currently only online poker is legal in Nevada but most gaming experts believe that eventually the state will offer games like online bingo, keno, blackjack and other popular games. Ultimate Gaming CEO Tobin Prior told reporters "There was black Friday, and now we're going to have `trusting Tuesday. Players won't have to worry if their money is safe. They are going to be able to play with people they can trust and know the highest regulatory standards have been applied."
Online gamblers spend about $35 billion annually according to the American Gaming Association. London-based research firm H2 Gambling Capital estimates that the US market could generate $4.3 billion in its first year. During the coming months Ultimate Gaming will have to prove to regulators that their employees are capable of blocking minors and out of state players from placing bets. While Nevada only offers online poker Delaware and New Jersey plan to offer a variety of games including online bingo. The gaming industry is hoping the return of online poker will revitalize interest in gambling and help land based casinos to attract younger players.
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