Which States Are Most Likely to Legalize Online Gambling in 2016?Published February 29, 2016 by Elana K
Only three states have legalized online gambling so far in the US; which states will join them this year?
Since Delaware legalized online gambling within its borders in 2012, only two states have followed suit: New Jersey and Nevada. While the door has been open for other states to pass regulations, none have done so since 2013.
But will 2016 be the year that other states do pass regulations?
Let’s take a look at the two states that are most likely to legalize online gambling in 2016:
California has a complicated relationship with online gambling, because there are so many different interests at play; card clubs, Indian tribes, and race tracks, to name a few. In fact, because there are so many different groups advocating for online gambling, they have been unable to agree on the best way to proceed, which has ultimately been why online gambling has never succeeded.
However, because 2015 saw actual bills put forward, and because a number of advocacy groups have arisen dedicated to pressuring elected officials, 2016 looks like it could be the year that California legalizes online gambling.
Pennsylvania came heartbreakingly close to legalizing online gambling last year, but the proposed bill missed being included in the state’s budget at the last moment. But because Pennsylvania has mountains of state debt, they are getting more and more desperate to find new streams of revenue. Online gambling is an excellent way to bring money into state coffers, which is why it seems that Pennsylvania will take up the online gambling cause again this year.
However, there will be obstacles, including a comprehensive gaming reform passage that certain lawmakers are trying to pass, which could put the kaibosh on the whole initiative. Additionally, lawmakers who are pushing for online gambling have not yet been able to decide on a set tax rate; they will need to get their act together if any bill is to be passed.
What Does the Future Hold?
Other states that have promising approaches to online gambling include New York and Massachusetts, but only time will tell how this issue plays out on both a state level and federal level.