Posted in Industry April 21, 2017
The Progress of Online Gambling Legalization in the World
The laws surrounding online gambling are changing constantly and sometimes it might seem that their development follows the age-old pattern of ‘one step forward, two steps back’. However, there is progress in the recognition of this form of entertainment around the world and it must be acknowledged. Recently, the most gladdening news are coming from the US, a country notorious for its rejection of online gambling on a state-wide scale.
Pennsylvania Senate Debates iGambling Legalization
It’s a pleasure to see that the individual parts of America are more forward-thinking than the lawmakers working on the federal level. Only a few days ago, during a senate hearing in Pennsylvania, iGambling legalization proponents introduced a new bill that could open the doors for this business.
Not surprisingly, this topic has caused a lot of arguments. The majority of those against stated that the proposed tax rate for online casinos (only 14%) would all but ‘cannibalize’ the revenue coming to the state from their brick-and-mortar counterparts. To get a better idea of why many believe this argument to be valid, you need to understand that the tax rate for land-based slots alone is 54% in this particular state. Therefore, the people supporting this point of view believe that players would forego these establishments in the favor of online gambling that has much better rates.
So far, the arguments of experts against this idea seem not to make the desired impact. This is even despite the fact that professionals in the gambling industry are confident in their ability to keep their clients in both land-based and online businesses. The example of a successful project with similar terms in New Jersey also doesn’t seem to do the trick.
Like always, those arguing against online gambling, claim its legalization would reflect poorly on the minors who would have a chance to access the casinos. Technically, this shouldn’t be possible as all online gambling portals only accept of-age players. However, youngsters these days can be very creative.
It’s this last fact that the supporters of the bill use as a glaring example of how legalizing online gambling would benefit the actual consumer as despite it being out-of-law at the moment, this form of gambling still exists. It’s currently unregulated, so any Pennsylvania residents deciding to gamble cannot expect any legal protection of their rights and interests. In this light, legalizing the business does look like a blow against the black market, which is currently thriving in this niche.
Michigan Senate Approves the Bill on iGambling Legalization
Unlike their Pennsylvanian colleagues, the senators of Michigan have approved the proposed bill almost effortlessly. This result was expected so there was nothing particularly intriguing about this specific hearing. Truthfully, this was the smoothest acceptance of a gambling bills in the US history, which indicates that there is hope for the other states.
It’s quite amusing to see that similar hearings, held only a day apart, went down such different ways. While Pennsylvania was contentious and full of passionate arguments, the committee members of Michigan seemed almost resigned and uninterested in listening to the witnesses. Note that some of the same experts came to offer their opinion in both states.
However, despite such a smooth sailing through this part of the legislative process, the actual realization of the bill remains doubtful. The reason for this is the lack of support from the actual gambling businesses currently legal in the state of Michigan.
Unlike in Pennsylvania, where land-based casinos are openly supportive of the proposed legislation, the ‘powers that be’ in MI are either neutral or opposed to online gambling. This brings back the memories of last year when the same bill has also been accepted in the senate only to get forgotten over time.
The main argument that is believed to work in actually pushing the bill to a successful transformation into a law is that unregulated online gambling exists and prospers, giving no tax revenue to the state. Therefore, legalizing this business is the best way to get a part of the money that is spent on the industry regardless of the current regulations.
Will Australia Take a Step Back on Online Gambling?
Unlike the US and UK, which is getting more open towards the idea of online gambling and online casinos, which is openly supportive of it, Australia seems to be fighting the progress of this industry. The Interactive Gambling Amendment Bill 2016, which is due for discussion in the government any day now, proposes banning this type of entertainment.
If this particular law goes through, all types of online gambling, short of betting on sports, would become illegal. Considering the fact that blocking an online service with 100% success rate is impossible, one could safely assume that this would only push the industry outside of the law. This would definitely increase risks for players and cause a loss of income to the local budget via taxes, so there is still hope for Australian gamblers yet. For now, they can enjoy indulging in this pastime at the renowned portals, like Betsafe Casino and Betsson Casino.
If you want further news about this topic, we suggest that you read our previous post about legislation matters from other parts of the world – it’s an easy way to keep yourself updated!