By Shirley Rodgers, Past Chair and Board of Directors Member, RPGC
Is Internet Gaming the Answer? This is the question addressed in an article by Matt Richtel published in The New York Times on August 14, 2011. The District of Columbia and many states believe the answer is “Yes!” Adding funds to depleted coffers is the main objective. According to one D.C. official, $9 million in revenue would be realized in D.C. from the legalization of Internet gaming. This revenue would come from a combination of new gamblers and existing gamblers who currently travel to neighboring states to gamble. Illinois budgeted a staggering $200 million in additional revenue by moving their state lottery online to capture more players. California estimates $140 million to $200 million in added annual revenue if they legalize internet gaming.
While other states are looking to follow suit and legalize internet gaming, opponents are working to defeat their efforts. Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey vetoed a bill that would have legalized Internet gaming in his state. Senator Harry Reid, NV and Senator Jon Kyl, AZ sent a letter to the Department of Justice urging them to enforce the existing laws which prohibit Internet gaming.
Some believe that the Federal laws are ambiguous and may give states the authority to run Internet gaming operations. This is an issue that will likely be coming up more often, as states look for ways to bridge their budget gaps. Is Internet Gaming truly the answer? Please research the issue and decide for yourself.
The original article can be found here: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/14/business/states-study-online-gambling-to-bring-needed-revenue.html