New States Enter Discussions for Online Gaming in US

For the past few months, all eyes have been on Pennsylvania and California as the next states to enter the online gambling industry within the US. Each state has introduced legislation that would allow for poker gaming but have yet to come to a consensus and see legislation passed. Now it seems other states are getting in on the action, looking to pass legislation and move forward with some form of gaming options involving the Internet.

AlabamaSurprisingly, the first state in discussions is Alabama. The very conservative state doesn’t even offer the lottery but this could soon change. Senator Del Marsh is supposedly going to introduce legislation this week that would legalize lottery and casino gaming within the state of Alabama. The Senate President Pro Tem wants to see both options offered in the state and would be proposing the solution to solve a $200 million short fall with the short-term budget in Alabama.

This amount could go as high as $700 million in the long term and some solution must be found. Marsh believes that the lottery and casino gaming could be used to fill the gap in the budget deficit instead of having to raise taxes.

On Monday, Marsh released the details of a study he had conducted by Auburn University during a press conference. The study showed that gambling in Alabama could bring in as much as $400 million in revenues for the state. $332 million would be from lottery ticket sales while the remainder would come from table games such as poker.

Despite the goal of Marsh, the actuality that such gaming would be allowed in the state of Alabama is a long shot. Back in 1999, the state tried to legalize the lottery but were not able to see legislation pass. Because Alabama is part of the Bible belt, many voters see gambling as a moral issue and will not vote to allow such activity.

The second state in discussion for online gaming activity is Iowa. In regards to lottery ticket sales, the Iowa Lottery would like to be able to provide online ticket sales and could be looking at an iGaming legislation solution.

During a hearing of the Iowa House Government Oversight Committee, CEO Terry Rich was on hand to share his view of the state lottery. Speaking in front of the panel, Rich stated that the lottery has the authority to offer online gaming due to the changes to the 2011 Wire Act by the Department of Justice.

Continuing to voice his opinion, Rich stated that online ticket sales would be socially acceptable in the future and that it is only a matter of time before this is the norm. Rich also stated that the state needs to adapt to the expectations of players in regards to convenience and the use of technology. If not, the state could be at risk of losing ticket sales in the future.

Both states could soon see legislation introduced that would allow for online gaming to take place. This could range from full gaming including casino, lottery and poker or have carve-outs for specific gaming options. The important aspect to note is that two additional states are considering legislation. As more states begin to talk about online gaming and make moves to create legislation, other states will become interesting as well. This means the online gaming industry of the United States will continue to grow and hopefully players in every state will eventually be able to enjoy the very best in poker, casino and other forms of iGaming.