Casino News

Nevada Congresswoman Insists on Keeping Online Gambling Legal within Individual States

A U.S. congresswoman from Nevada is now defending online gambling before the Justice Department which has the authority to invalidate its 2011 ruling that allowed individual states to make their own decisions on the matter. Her move comes as a surprise, as so far, no serious steps have been made by the federal government towards outlawing Internet gambling.

Democratic Rep. Dina Titus expressed her concerns about the potential risks of unregulated online gambling in a letter to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. Titus’ district of Nevada, home to the nation’s gambling capital Las Vegas, is one of only four states to allow legal online casino gaming. This was made possible in 2011 after the Justice Department under President Barack Obama issued a ruling that permitted gambling websites provided they did not offer betting on sporting events.

Currently, there has been no indication that the Government and the Justice Department, in particular, may change their stance on this issue. However, representatives from Titus’ office explained that many gambling companies have shared their concerns with the congresswoman about a possible reversal of the ruling. In her letter, Dina Titus warns that such a move would only push consumers into using illegal gambling sites. With the black market being impossible to fully eradicate, the lack of regulation also means no consumer protection.

President Donald Trump, who is a former Atlantic City casino owner, has not shared his opinion specifically about online gambling. One of his major donors, however, is casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, a vocal opponent of Internet gambling. In the meantime, legislators from both parties are calling for either maintaining the current situation or for a nation-wide ban on online gambling.

Others, such as Republican U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, of South Carolina, and Democratic U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, of California, have asked the Justice Department to let Congress make decisions regarding the legality of online gambling. A spokesperson for the Justice Department did not comment on Titus’ letter and on any possibility that the 2011 ruling may be revoked.

U.S. Online Gambling Market

Nevada, New Jersey, Delaware, and Pennsylvania are currently allowing online gambling, with other states still taking a conservative position on the issue. However, New Jersey is the only one of these four states which have a functioning online gambling market with the first online casinos opening via a synchronized launch on 21 November 2013.

By 2017, there were twelve separate casino brands that operated, offering virtual forms of classic casino games to all customers of legal age (21 years old) who are playing from computers in New Jersey. According to a report, released by PlayNJ analysts in June 2017, online casinos within New Jersey have generated more than $100 million in tax revenue for the Garden State. Atlantic City’s web-based casinos have won $245 million in revenues in 2017, which is an impressive increase of nearly 25 per cent on an annual basis.