Online Gambling Study Supports US RegulationPublished June 5, 2015 by Lee R
The industry is doing its best to placate states and protect consumers.
As a $41 billion dollar industry, online gambling booming—everywhere except in the United States, where only three states have been willing to legalize and regulate the practice.
New Study Encourages Adoption
A new Michigan State University business study claims that more controlled and definitive regulation stands to benefit the industry and protect consumers alike.
The study was created to assess the costs and benefits of the Unfair Internet Gambling Enforcement Act signed into law by President George W. Bush in 2006.
According to the report, the law legalized online gambling activities such as virtual poker and blackjack, with exceptions being made for designated fantasy sports, online lotteries and horse/harness racing.
Difficulty of Interpretation
While the law was passed in 2006, it took two more years for actual governing rules to be issued. The Department of Justice enforcement strategy remained unclear for another two full years until 2010.
A subsequent clarification in 2011 seemed to fly in the face of previous protectionist enforcement strategy: the DoJ indicated that online gambling could be permissible if individually adopted by the states.
This set the stage for reentry of online gambling operators into the US market, with individual states New Jersey, Delaware and Nevada being the first to regulate online gambling.
The industry's efforts to meet the regulation requirements nonetheless garnered a 3 percent increase in the value of publicly traded online gambling organizations.
Operator Efforts Raise Values
The MSU study drew positive correlations between visible efforts from the industry and increases in value.
The study's co-author concludes that in the US “the online gambling industry is at the point where it wants controlled regulation" and “both the industry and individuals - including underage and problem gamblers - would be better off if regulation exists."
Next Likely State
The next state most likely to heed this trend is Pennsylvania, which is currently experiencing “positive momentum” for regulation. Two key members of the state's Gaming Oversight Committee in the House are currently calling for passage of an online gambling bill: HB649 can be viewed on PennLive web site.