Will the Internet Poker Freedom Act Affect Casino Revenues
Last week Rep. Joe Barton introduced the Internet Poker Freedom Act of 2013 in the House of Representatives. If it passes then states will be able to legalise online poker without the federal government intervening.
A common objection is that internet poker is likely to cut into profits at brick-and-mortar casinos. However, this is not in fact the case according to research carried out in countries where online gambling is legal.
In 2001 the Interactive Gambling Act was passed in Australia which made it illegal for online gambling operators to provide their services to Australian residents. However, the act did legalise sports betting, lotteries and betting on races as long as they were associated with a land-based business.
Over the next ten years Australian’s continued to increase the amount of money they spent at both online and land based gambling facilities. According to Scott Harrison, a senior analyst at Argent Capital Management LLC, “across the globe, where online gambling has been legalised, it has not cannibalised casino revenue.”
So far there has been little reaction from American casinos to the Poker Freedom Act, the senior vice president of Ameristar Casino St. Charles, said that the company is still “looking at both the positive and negative impacts”.