Will the online gambling laws in the US affect the UK industry?

Published on November 17, 2017 in Industry News

Casino Laws In US May Affect UKThings are getting progressively more exciting for UK and European based online casinos and gambling vendors, as the laws on online gambling seem to be shifting in the United States.
 

Gambling Laws in the USA

In the USA, gambling is legal under Federal Law, although there are significant restrictions pertaining to interstate and online gambling. Each state is free to regulate or prohibit practices within its borders. Some states have laws that go back a couple of centuries, and others have not got clearly definable legislation in place to address or regulate the major aspects of the gambling laws.
 

America is considered quite liberal on land-based casinos and small-scale game and card room businesses, but are not quite as progressive towards online gambling.

In fact, in 2006 the USA government passed the “Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act”, banning all forms of internet gambling. This resulted in many international gambling sites pulling out of the country.

Though the above act is in play, there seems to be a dispute between certain states and the national government. States such as Nevada, New Jersey, and Delaware have already legalised online gambling while California, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, New York, Pennsylvania, and Washington State have all applied and are pushing for the legalisation of online gambling. The greatest progress is being made in Pennsylvania, New York, and Michigan.

Pennsylvania legislature is already back in session, and they have earmarked $100 million towards gambling from their state budget, as they have seen the potential for revenue increase by this industry. If Pennsylvania gets it right, being the 6th most populous state in America, it will put tremendous pressure on New York, who will have to overhaul their entire gambling legislature.
 

What does this mean for the United Kingdom?

Contrary to the stance held in the United States, the major buzzword in the UK gaming industry is “Online Casinos”. A report in 2016 by the UK Gambling Commission reported that 33% of all gaming in Britain is done online. This is made up of a combination of online casinos, betting exchanges, bingo, and pool betting. Much of this is due to the relaxed betting and gambling laws in the UK, who relishes the industry as a massive tool for revenue creation. 

This has given rise to many well established online casinos based in and around England and other parts of Europe.

It stands to reason that should these American states legalise online gambling, that existing, strong internet casino bases will be flooded with a high number of players wanting gambling opportunities. Higher volumes of people will increase the revenue for both online casinos and the country in which the casinos are based.

Currently there are 2 million online gamblers in the UK, but should New Jersey come on board, they could add more than four times that number of players to the industry. One could only imagine if Pennsylvania, New York, and Michigan be quick to follow, what it will do the UK gambling industry, who will be drawing in exponentially more than what they are at present.

The ripple effect concludes in the growth of games development, and will result in the increase of competition, which in turn will make for better wins and rewards offered by online casinos. This, in turn, will therefore make for a far happier gaming community on the whole.