What Does 2016 Hold for US Online Gambling?

Published January 8, 2016 by Elana K

What Does 2016 Hold for US Online Gambling?

Online gambling is currently legal at a state level, but only three states have actually legalized it. There are many reasons why other states are hesitant to jump in, but 2016 might see all those issues go away.

With 2016 on the horizon, people on both sides of the online gambling issue are wondering what the new year will have in store. It’s been two years since three states legalized online gambling within their borders: Nevada, New Jersey, and Delaware. It was expected that more would follow suit, but try as they might, the states that were interested just didn’t manage to pass the bills.

What Is Holding States Back?

Some say that because 2016 is an election year, states will not want to pass laws about online gambling, as lawmakers tend to stay away from controversial issues in election years.

Others say that what's holding other states back is the fact that Nevada, New Jersey, and Delaware are not exactly rolling in cash from all their online gambling revenue. They are bringing in money - just not as much as they anticipated.

Another reason why states might find it hard to push for online gambling in the coming year is that other issues, such as daily fantasy sports and sports betting, might demand more of their attention first. On the other hand, if daily fantasy sports are regulated, that might end up making it easier to regulate online casinos.

RAWA, the Restoration of America’s Wire Act, is a federal bill that could potentially put a halt to any state’s consideration of legalizing online gambling. RAWA, backed by Sheldon Adelson, would ban online gambling at a federal level, which means that even states that have regulated it would have to stop their operations. While RAWA did not get approved in 2015, the very possibility that it could pass in 2016 may act as a deterrent for other states thinking of legalizing online gambling.

Which States Are Most Likely to Tackle Online Gambling in 2016?

States that previously considered passing online gambling regulations are more likely to approach the issue again this year. These states include California, Pennsylvania, New York, Mississippi, Massachusetts, and Washington. New potentials to add to the list are Connecticut, Maryland, Rhode Island and West Virginia.

See also

Which States Are Most Likely to Legalize Online Gambling in 2016?

Special: Future of Regulated US Online Sports Betting


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