Washington is too dysfunctional to approve online gambling so states act
It is not much of a secret that Washington is dysfunctional. The latest symptom is Maine Senator Olympia Snowe leaving the Senate. The moderate senator wrote a scathing piece in the Washington Post this past March.
For the online gambling industry, this means that nothing has moved forward on gambling legislation. Most pundits agree that nothing will happen on this front until at least after the next elections (presidential and congressional). So are the Americans waiting until November?
No! The states are picking up where Washington has left off. New Jersey is already working on legislation. Jersey governor Chris Christie has frequently stated his support for online gambling legislation.
“In a Congress that can’t agree on what day it is, the thought that they’re going to agree to put casino gambling in every living room in America is ridiculous,” says Richard Bronson, chairman of US Digital Gaming. “Within the next year, one or two states will do it,” Bronson said.
New Jersey almost passed an online gambling package last year, but reservations by Governor Christie stopped it in its tracks. “We lost a whole year and hundreds of millions of dollars that could have been coming in to our casinos in Atlantic City,” said state Sen. Raymond Lesniak.
“Forty million people visited Las Vegas last year; 40 million people visit Facebook every five days,” says Bronson. “Why wouldn’t our industry want to take advantage of the bright opportunities facing the casino industry?”
“If you walk into a casino in Atlantic City and look at people playing slots, how many young people do you see?” asks Eugene Johnson, a senior associate of Spectrum Gaming Group, an Atlantic City-area casino consulting group.
“Internet gaming is the future of the casino business. It’s strongly tied to mobile gaming. Young people are particularly tied to their mobile devices. If you don’t evolve with the future, you’re going to be left behind.”