During the last decade, the North American iGaming industry has ground to a halt. Despite the fact that gambling is legalized under federal law, U.S. states have had the freedom to regulate the online casino industry within their own border lines. That’s not all; some forms of iGaming have been legalized by states and some forms haven’t. It couldn’t have been more of a grey area for American iGamers if the regulators tried.
Earlier in 2019, the U.S. Supreme Court opted to vote in favor of giving states the opportunity to legalize online gambling on live sporting events. It was a decision that would change the course of sports betting in the iGaming sector, seeing iGaming operators from Europe and the Far East pursue strategies to expand into the U.S. America’s openness towards online sportsbooks has also encouraged some states to properly regulate and license online casino gaming and card games within their borders.
America looking to overhaul the Federal Wire Act 1961
Furthermore, the Restoration of America’s Wire Act (RAWA), which aims to rewrite America’s archaic Federal Wire Act 1961 and put an end to claims that interstate gambling is out of law, is already giving independent states the courage to regulate their own iGaming industries and provide card and slot games to their trusted residents.
Nevada, New Jersey and Delaware are the three U.S. states to blaze a trail for iGaming in the States. Nevada’s Gaming Commission and Gaming Control Board approved iGaming in February 2013, New Jersey’s Senate passed a new Casino Control Act in 2012, while Delaware’s Senate also approved the Delaware Gaming Competitiveness Act. This open, transparent approach to online gaming has increasingly encouraged more states to adopt a more liberal mindset towards regulating iGaming.
Pennsylvania, the “Keystone State”, is due to become the fourth U.S. jurisdiction to regulate online poker as well as online casino games like video slots. The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board has approved seven of the state’s brick-and-mortar casinos to provide online poker services, while some of the must-have rooms are looking to quickly establish themselves as major players in the Pennsylvania online poker scene.
Judgement week for iGamers in Pennsylvania
The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board pinpointed the week beginning July 15 as the premiere week of testing and trialling regulated online poker, giving approved operators 90 days to “submit required internal controls” and achieve “all certifications necessary” to provide legalized iGaming to Pennsylvanian residents.
There was hope that the state of New York was also coming around to the idea of regulating its own iGaming sector. Licensed sports betting and casino gaming online would generate tens of millions of dollars in income for New York, but the Senate’s reticence to innovate and approved proposed legislation means that residents will have to wait until 2020 at the earliest for the “Big Apple” to welcome online gaming with open arms again.
It’s the same on the west coast in California, where the “Golden State” has sought to legalize online poker for several years now. Unfortunately, local tribal casinos have so far thwarted the introduction of the state’s Internet Poker Consumer Protection Act 2016, causing tensions to rise in the industry. Nevertheless, it’s encouraging for online gamers that state lawmakers in all four corners of the U.S. are now taking iGaming seriously once more, and regulated iGaming landscapes could make it even more sustainable than before in terms of how people handle their money and how operators protect their customers’ funds too.