Hawaii, Iowa and Pennsylvania are the next states that will consider online gambling bills during this legislative session. Hawaii has tried for the past three years to get online gambling regulated in their state. This is interesting because there is currently no form of legalized gambling in the state. This bill would change that.
The bill would give all policy considerations to a new state lottery board. Lottery drawings would be specifically approved and poker is mentioned within the language of the bill as well. Online casino games would be up to the lottery board to approve. The bill gives the board the sole right to approve all games, bet limits, rake, payment processing policies and taxes.
The bill would not legalize brick and mortar casinos. Hawaii relies on tourism and that industry has always fought the idea of casinos on the island state as they feel that it would cannibalize the state’s thriving beach front resorts. There are not even casino boats that leave the shore in Hawaii.
It is not that Hawaiians are against gambling. Las Vegas is a top tourist destination for residents on the island. Boyd Gaming has specialized in operating Las Vegas junkets to and from the islands.
Iowa Online Poker Possible
Iowa has also proposed online gambling once again. The bill is virtually identical to last year’s bill that passed the state’s senate but was never heard in the house. The bill would legalize only online poker and not any casino games that are already offered in the state’s riverboat casinos.
Pennsylvania Online Gambling?
Pennsylvania state representative Tina Davis has proposed expanding Pennsylvania’s thriving casino industry onto the internet. In a letter to other state representatives, Rep. Davis noted that both Delaware and New Jersey had already passed online gambling regulations, though New Jersey’s is waiting on a signature by their governor to go into law. She noted that internet gambling is the future if Pennsylvania wishes to compete in the next generation of gambling. While not known as a gambling mecca, Pennsylvania is actually the second largest casino state in terms of gaming revenue. The state surpassed New Jersey in 2012. This move may have had to do with the destruction of Hurricane Sandy on New Jersey’s coastline but Pennsylvania and other neighboring states have devoured Atlantic City’s share of the region’s gaming revenue.
Nevada Online Poker May Be Live in First Quarter
In other online poker news, there are rumors in Nevada that online poker could be live there by the end of March. News has come out of Delaware that they will be live by the third quarter with their online poker and casino games. Delaware will operate their online gambling through their state’s lottery monopoly. The state is currently looking for outside vendors to help with that process. This includes software providers and payment processors.