Nevada did it last week, and New Jersey did it this week. We’re talking legalizing online gambling, a potential gold mine for revenue-hungry states and casinos and tech companies such as Zynga, which reportedly already has 15 million U.S.-based online poker players who might be interested in playing for real money.
Estimates vary, but New Jersey is expected to bring in hundreds of millions of dollars more in casino revenue because of its move, according to NJ.com.
The move toward gambling on the Internet in the United States, which NPR points out was until recently considered a crime, is raising some interesting issues. For example, the New Jersey bill limits Internet gambling to those who are physically present in the state, something that is supposedly technically possible. Does New Jersey get its own Internet? Should it change its nickname to the Walled Garden State? How will regulation work? And what about the addicted gamblers who will be able to give in to their weakness with just a few clicks?
Bloomberg Businessweek tries to answer some of those questions — the in-state gambling limitation will reportedly be solved with location-tracking technology — and also says Delaware intends to “go live” with online gambling by Sept. 30.
Back to Zynga. It has been an up-and-down couple of weeks for the San Francisco company. There was the online-gambling action. But it continues to try to cut costs, announcing this week that it is closing four offices and laying off about 30 employees, according to AllThingsD. Zynga announced last fall that it would be closing offices and shutting down games that weren’t doing so well.
Still, analysts are betting Internet gambling presents a “significant” opportunity for Zynga, according to MarketWatch. The company’s shares are down about 1 percent as of this post, but they had risen about 20 percent recently in the past week on the news about the Nevada and New Jersey laws. Zynga is also offering online gambling in the U.K.
Gov. Brian Sandoval (R) signed legislation that legalized online gambling inside the state of Nevada — a move that could signal a potential goldmine for developers of social casino games.
Both houses of the Nevada legislature passed the bill as an emergency measure so the could lay claim to being the first in the nation to sign such a bill into law — ahead of New Jersey. Online gambling firms pray that the Nevada law could be the start of an avalanche of legislation by tax-hungry states to legalize the industry across the country. And the video game industry’s social casino game makers hope the legalization will happen and bring a windfall to them as well.
DOVER, Del. — Delaware may become the first state with a broad spectrum of online gambling.
But federal law will limit play to gamblers physically located within the state's borders, as verified with geolocation software.
COLUMN: Congress can't fold online poker
The Delaware Lottery Office issued a request for proposals last week seeking bids from vendors to operate the state's centralized online gambling system with a strict stipulation that it would be up and running no later than Sept. 30.
Though efforts in other states to legalize online gambling have been percolating for the past year or more, Delaware remains the only state to have legalized full-fledged online gambling.
March 7, 2013
Just 48 hours after Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn (pictured far right) vetoed a bill that would have put brick-and-mortar casinos in Chicago, state Senator Terry Link (pictured on the left) has introduced an amended bill that would expand the state’s land-based gambling options and also introduce internet gambling. Illinois’ previous attempt at passing online gambling legislation – which envisioned the state lottery running the system and the state’s existing gaming license holders serving as affiliates – died from neglect last June.