January 4, 2024 3 min read

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Fort Lauderdale Meet Explores Benefits of Online Gambling

A much anticipated meeting of the National Council of Legislators from Gaming States gathers gambling industry representatives, lawmakers and regulators to discuss different challenges and prospects related to iGaming

Last year, the National Council of Legislators from Gaming States (NCLGS), an organization that brings together state lawmakers to discuss gaming-related issues, organized an event that took place in Las Vegas. Now, the Council’s Winter Meeting kicked off on Wednesday with a wide range of planned discussions regarding online gambling, daily fantasy sports, as well as the proper regulation of the gaming industry.

Taking place at Hilton Marina, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, the Winter Meeting gathers state lawmakers, representatives of regulators as well as executives from the gambling sector. The event revolves around discussions about the gaming sector, although officially, the Council “does not promote or oppose gaming but is primarily concerned with the proper regulation of the industry.”

Some of the important topics for NCLGS’ Winter Meeting include illegal gambling, daily fantasy sports, as well as prospects for legalizing online gambling in different states. Currently, six US states offer iGaming. Those include Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Connecticut, Michigan, West Virginia and Delaware. On the other hand, Rhode Island is currently planning the launch of online gambling, while Nevada already offers such activities which are limited to poker.

The expansion of online gambling was a topic that made it into the Council’s meeting last year as well. According to a report released by CDC Gaming Reports, Brendan Bussman, an experienced consultant for the gambling sector and managing partner with B Global, who is attending the Council’s Winter Meeting, online gambling may be up for discussion in states such as Maryland and New York.

Legalizing Online Gambling, States Will Benefit from Tax Revenue

Bussman said Maryland and New York are “the two best prospects over everything,” when it comes to iGaming. He explained that, unlike sports betting where odds are required, lawmakers need to consider robust rules and a proper tax rate for online gambling. Bussman explained that a high tax rate may prove to be a challenge for both Maryland and New York. “I’m cautiously optimistic,” he added, pointing out that it is unclear whether iGaming discussions will lift off in the two states.

For a long time, opponents of online gambling warned about the potential impact it may have on the retail casino sector. Moreover, some opponents of iGaming even claimed such activities may cost jobs for people in retail gambling.

On this topic, Bussman argued about the negative impact of iGaming, explaining that states that legalize such activities are going to benefit from revenue and this, according to him, means that there will be more jobs. As an example, he said that instead of visiting a brick-and-mortar venue, he could use his phone to gamble.

While discussions about the prospects of iGaming will continue, the activity is yet to expand across the US. Compared to the nearly 40 states that offer sports betting, online gambling is available in only a handful of states. Yet, the legalization of iGaming can bring valuable tax revenue, among other things.

Journalist

Jerome is a welcome new addition to the Gambling News team, bringing years of journalistic experience within the iGaming sector. His interest in the industry begun after he graduated from college where he played in regular local poker tournaments which eventually lead to exposure towards the growing popularity of online poker and casino rooms. Jerome now puts all the knowledge he's accrued to fuel his passion for journalism, providing our team with the latest scoops online.

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