April 18, 2013 05:25 ET

4Flush.com Analyzes Online Gaming's Future in the United States

Analysts at well-known online gaming news site 4Flush.com are taking an in-depth look into the many recent developments affecting the legal position of online poker and other online gambling games in the United States. Now armed with a positive shift in public support for internet gaming, combined with legislative wins in Nevada, Delaware and New Jersey, it truly seems that there may be a glimmer of hope for internet gambling's future across all 50 states.

ARIZONA, UNITED STATES--(Marketwired - April 18, 2013) - As many online gamblers recall, UIGEA, also known as the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, effectively killed most forms of internet gaming and poker in the United States. While some poker sites stuck around even after the ban was put into law, most of today's popular poker sites closed up shop to Americans immediately, with payment processors like Neteller also getting the boot (along with a $100 million+ fine).

The Senators behind UIGEA, Jon Kyl of Arizona and Bill Frist of Tennessee, attached the controversial provision to the SAFE Act, a port security bill that was signed into law after the 2006 elections had adjourned. While the bill crushed thousands of poker players who either played the game recreationally or professionally at the time, there would be renewed hope on the horizon in the years to come.

In 2012, the public opinion of [now former] Senator Jon Kyl had begun to soften in regards to online poker. When it came about that he and Nevada Senator Harry Reid had begun working on a bill that would have at least allowed for legalized online poker at a federal level, USA players felt it was a positive step forward for the game they loved. While that bill would eventually die, it served purpose as other state government officials began drafting up their own plans to regulate internet gaming at an intrastate level.

In a span of just a few months, 4Flush.com has reported that Delaware, New Jersey and Nevada have since seen legislation passed that now allows legalized online gaming within their respective state lines.

Nevada Issues Interactive Gaming Licenses

In March 2013, Nevada became the first state in the U.S. to issue an interactive gaming license when it made the decision to grant one to 888 Holdings, the brand behind 888 Poker. In addition to the license issued to 888, the State of Nevada also issued an interactive gaming license to Treasure Island, a popular Vegas casino located in the heart of the Strip. It is expected that these companies should have their online poker clients ready for launch some time in 2013.

Each of these two companies paid an initial fee of $500,000.00 to receive their license, and will continue to invest in the state of Nevada by not only paying income taxes, but by renewing their licenses to the tune of $250,000 annually. In lieu of companies like William Hill already getting the go-ahead to open up online sports betting options within the state, there will most likely be at least a dozen more companies that will attain similar licenses over the next year.

Delaware and New Jersey Also Legalize Online Gambling

Though they have yet to issue any online gaming-related licenses as of yet, both Delaware and New Jersey have made big headlines in the past few months with the recent passages of online gambling laws in their respective states.

Delaware made history as the first state to officially legalize online gambling when Governor Jack Markell approved legislation that will allow full-service betting websites to apply for state licenses in Delaware.

Aforementioned Nevada licensee 888 Holdings is among over a dozen applicants that have already applied for a Delaware gambling license. The Rational Group, the parent company to online poker giants PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker, is also in the running to get their own license in the state as well.

Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey also signed online gambling into state law recently, citing that New Jersey should earn back hundreds of millions of dollars in added internet gaming revenue over the next decade alone.

Illinois Senators Continue Battle over Online Gaming Expansion

While all seems well in the way of progress in the three states that have already passed online gaming legislation, the war still wages on in Illinois. Thus far it's been one step forward, and another step back for the regulation of casinos, along with other forms of gambling in Illinois. The issue now seems to involve the question of whom exactly should regulate any new casino, should the state opt to allow the one to be built.

A bill currently in legislation in Illinois put forth by State Senator Terry Link not only covers the addition of slot machines throughout the state of Illinois, but includes language that would legalize online casinos as well, so long as participants were of legal age and the gambling companies were legally licensed in the state.

Attaining an online gaming license would also cost companies $20 million, which would be considered an advance payment on wagering taxes that would be levied.

About 4Flush.com

4Flush.com has been providing in-depth poker, casino and gambling news to the iGaming industry since 2004. The website provides daily poker and gaming legislation updates to tens of thousands of readers. 4Flush also reviews the best gambling sites for real money all over the globe and in the United States.

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