There will be a lot of focus on New Jersey today as it launches a full suite of online casino products, including online table games, online slot machines, and online poker. Gambling fans are not alone in the audience; so are the lawmakers of would-be Internet gambling states.
Mississippi is one of several states considering legalizing real-money online gambling. Richard Bennett, House Gaming Committee Chairman, said in a Sun Herald article that Mississippi’s 2014 legislative session is going to include hearings and active discussions on Internet gambling.
“I don’t believe we’re going to have anything come out on it this session,” Bennett continued. “It’s just too early right now.”
Bennett is not alone. As with the rest of his cautious lawmakers across the country, attention is focused on Nevada, New Jersey, and Delaware, where Internet real-money gambling is already legal. As you can imagine, everything surrounding Internet wagering is, in fact, a gamble; wait too long and you’ll miss out on potential revenue, jump in too soon and you’ll have a steeper, potentially costly learning curve.
As New Jersey comes online, it becomes more and more clear that federal regulation of some kind will be necessary as legalization on a state-by-state level will clash with federal regulations. With recent estimations stating that Americans spent nearly $3 billion with foreign online gambling sites, the real situation is that Americans are not only comfortable wagering money online, they do it happily. It’s up to state and federal governments to make sure they they can also do it safely.