Experts Say That the Future of Gambling is Online

Last May a panel at the East Coast Gaming Congress said that internet gambling is the future of the gambling industry. The internet has had a profound effect on the way most people gather information, advertise, read news, shop and access entertainment. The internet has also changes the way people gamble. In the 90’s the first poker sites were launched and were an instant success. Today online poker generates billions in revenue every year. Online bingo has also been a great success. In the UK alone over three million people play at bingo sites on a regular basis and millions more are casual players. The conclusion was reached at the congress by a panel of online and brick-and-mortar casino executives.

A New Jersey legislator said that there will be a ballot question next year asking the state’s voters to amend the New Jersey constitution to allow online gambling. At the congress executives from two online betting organizations and Caesars Entertainment said that the internet will provide the gambling industry with its best opportunity for growth in the future. They also observed that at the present time the prospects for federal legislation to legalize online gambling are not good. Recently the US government seized four major poker sites and their assets. One bingo site has also been seized by the Department of Justice.

Some executives believe that despite the recent seizures US citizens will continue to gamble online. Jan Jones, senior vice president of government relations for Caesars Entertainment stated “You’re not going to stop the Internet. You can regulate it, you can put in protections, but it’s going to exist.” Melanie Brenner, president of the U.S. Online Gaming Association said that about ten million people currently play poker online. Brenner said “That’s what they look forward to. This is the path to growth for (the casino) industry.” Panel members estimated the annual revenue from legalized online gambling at $80 billion.

Richard Bronson, chairman of U.S. Digital Gaming, said that individual states will legalize online gambling soon and cash strapped states find the potential revenue attractive. Bronson stated “I believe strongly there will not be a national online gambling bill passed in the U.S. I’ve yet to find one governor, one legislator, one lottery director that tells me otherwise. They want this to be a state issue.” While the focus was on poker and online casinos the online bingo industry is following developments in the US very closely. Bingo sites are seen to enter the US market. Most believe that if most states legalize online gambling the federal government will follow.

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