It was only on Monday of this week that the US Supreme Court made a landmark ruling regarding the status of legal sports betting in the country. This ruling marked the 1992 federal law that restricted sports betting as unconstitutional. With such a decision, many US states will no doubt be able to increase their gambling markets to incorporate sports betting options in the near future.
The casino industry in the United States is already quite large in the locations that it exists in, bringing in about $70 billion on an annual basis from gamblers. Nevada currently exists as the only state that can provide legal sports betting, and this brings in about $5 billion per year. However, there are estimates that American citizens place bets of about $150 billion in total every year when it comes to sports, meaning that a huge amount is being wagered at offshore platforms or via illegal routes.
The casino industry of the States is starting to embrace the online casino industry, with many singular states looking to generate revenue from new sources. Currently, there are only four states that have chosen to regulate casinos in the online world – Nevada, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware. And with such a move towards legalising sports betting, calls have already begun for the legalisation and regulation of online poker rooms.
A Poker Hall of Famer Steps Up
It didn’t take long for people to start questioning when online poker would find itself legalised and regulated in the United States. In fact, poker Hall of Famer Phil Hellmuth was one of the first to step up and call for the game to gain traction. In a Twitter post, he stated that every single major sport in the US stands behind the legalisation of sports betting, also remarking that such sporting organisations will also profit from it. However, he questioned how sports betting can be made legal online without online poker getting the same benefit. His argument? That poker gaming requires more skill than placing sports bets.
As of now, Hellmuth’s Tweet has received over 2,500 likes and over 800 retweets. In actuality, various efforts have been made over the years to regulate the online poker sector. Since the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) came into effect in 2006, various states have discussed the poker gaming sector. However, proposals for a regulated poker industry have largely been turned down. The UIGEA brought various restrictions in relating to the financial side of online poker.
However, certain states could already be moving towards larger pushes for the legalisation of online poker. New Jersey is expecting to begin allowing sports betting options in the upcoming weeks, and it partnered up with Delaware and Nevada for the tri-state poker network earlier on in the month. The Director of the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement, David Rebuck stated recently that once sports wagering is legalised throughout the US, online gambling won’t be too far behind it.