Is The US Online Gambling Boom About To Stop?

Is The US Online Gambling Boom About To Stop? ( Click to Enlarge )

The United States has been a market that online gaming firms have been trying to target for years. This has been made difficult by huge variations in laws between states. Some have taken a fairly relaxed attitude towards online gaming and hoped to profit off the significant tax revenue that these activities can generate.

Others have taken a more puritanical approach and banned the activities altogether. This isn’t just because of worries about the spread of gambling but also a desire to protect physical casinos which are seen as tourist attractions, easier to regulate and are considered more reliable sources of income.

Casino Expansion Plans

Despite these worries however, many firms have tried to enter the US market in search of the significant opportunities that they believe lie there. But this has all come to a juddering halt following the US Department of Justice’s decision to reinterpret a piece of legislation as prohibiting online gambling activity across all 50 states.

Many observers have been surprised to see such a decision come out of the Donald Trump administration, which has generally been in favour of reducing red tape and allowing businesses to operate in a deregulated and low tax environment as much as possible.

Nevertheless, Trump has appointed a large number of social conservatives to key positions and it is likely that this is one of the consequences of these policies.

Online Casino Worries

The reaction from online gambling firms has been fairly swift. New Jersey, which had played host to a number of online gaming companies, is already expressing worries that the Federal Government’s decision will have a major impact on its ability to raise tax income over the coming years.

Physical casinos, particularly in smaller towns and cities across the country, however, are looking forward to increased visits.

It is possible that Congress could pass a law to reintroduce online gaming, but given the current political deadlock in the US, it is unlikely that such a bill would generate the political support required to pass.

It is more likely that it will be a significant period of time before online gaming gains the type of foothold in the US that it has enjoyed in Europe.