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The online gambling business has been a lucrative one, but federal statutes has barred states from tapping into an approximately $4 billion that Americans spend annually to illegally gamble online.
However, that is likely to change soon.
The U.S. Department of Justice has just reversed its total ban on Internet gambling and states are now scrambling to determine what the decision means for them.
Mark Lipparelli, the chairman of the Nevada Gaming Control Board, said, “Every state will be asking its AG: tell us what this opinion means.”
Illinois, New Jersey, New York, Iowa and California are among the states expected to immediately act to get in on the action.
That is exactly what Nevada has done but the state was able to put some pieces in place before the decision in a manner that many of the other states have not done. Added to this, Nevada has already been in the gambling business for over seventy years.
There is no exact number as to how many Americans indulge in Internet gambling or how much revenue will the states be able to collect if it becomes legal. The American Gaming Association estimates that on a global scale, online gambling generates around $30 billion annually. The group believes that states could earn up to $2 billion in tax revenue once online poker is legalized.
The DOJ’s decision does not actually legalize Internet gambling automatically. States still have to enact legislation that allows online gambling in their territory, as well as develop regulations that will oversee it. And for many, it is not clear whether the ruling legalizes only Internet gambling within the borders of the state or also gambling occurring across state lines.