State of the States in Online Gambling
Connecticut Governor Considering Online Gaming
Governor Malloy of Connecticut said that it is about time to stop either preaching or debating on the good or the bad effects of legalized gambling. Past state leaders have simply accepted the revenues provided for the state of the two tribal casinos that they have. These past governors did not even provide much support for the gambling industry that most people do not hold in high esteem, but they had happily taken what was given to them.
According to Governor Malloy, in an era when the state needs to fight for every possible job and to find sources of revenue to meet the requirement for the fiscal year, the two tribes, Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods Resort casinos are two of the most successful businesses that the state will be focusing on.
Malloy further stated that, the gambling industry needs to be protected.
The two casinos have collectively provided the state with $360 million slot revenues in the fast fiscal year. This could be a little lower that the peak of $430.5 million revenues a few years ago, but still it is a huge sum. The more important matter is that these two casinos provide jobs for 17,000 residents and they are also major economic sources for both state and region.
It is a sad fact though that despite the high revenues and the jobs they can provide for the people, these casinos are still facing a lot of challenges old and new alike. New challenge included the opening of casinos in neighboring states and the ruling of theUSJustice Department giving states the constitutional authority to decide on the approval and regulation of online gambling operations.
This is an unforeseen event as Gov Lowell P. Weicker Jr. had first made an agreement to give exclusive gaming rights to the Mashantucket tribe.
It is a good thing though that Governor Malloy recently conceded that the contracts need to be updated to make the two tribe work together with the state inConnecticut’s move to legalize online gambling.
Connecticut Looks into Online Gaming as the Answer to the State’s Declining Revenues
Connecticut is facing yet another year of declining revenue and it is being joined by other nearby states around New England in considering Internet gambling as the best possible way to keep their revenues from hitting rock bottom.
Local legislators though are having second thoughts of opening online betting inConnecticutjust because neighboring states have beaten them into it.
Larry Cafero of R-Norfolk and House Minority Floor Leader explained that, they could be moving too fast and it does not necessarily mean that they are going to have declining revenues just because other states are earning from Internet gambling.
Cafero also added, the online betting should not be considered as a finite source of revenue, and that they should tread carefully on these new waters or else there will be some vulnerable people that they might hurt.
The Department of Justice of the US ruled last month that there is no violation of federal law for intrastate Internet gambling. Many states are currently studying the benefits of legalizing online gambling in generating state revenues.
Rhode Island and Maine are two states that are seriously studying the possibilities of introducing Internet gambling and gaining profit from this rapidly growing industry.
New York Governor, Andrew Cuomo, has stated this month that they are expanding gambling in New York following the remarks of Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey that he intends to make New Jersey an epicenter for the Internet gambling industry.
Connecticutlegislators are very much aware of the heavy and stiff competition. Congressman Stephen Dargan of D-West Haven, said that they will not be sitting back if there is competition in the neighboring states. He said that, he thinks it is significant that they should be a frontrunner in the field and that they need to look at all angles to see if it can be an excellent public policy.
Governor Malloy already believed that Internet gaming is certainly coming toConnecticutand their next best move is to decide on what is the best approach to that.
Online Gambling to be Legalized in Iowa
An Iowa State Senator is preparing a bill that will authorize internet poker to be legal in the state and some serious considerations have been gained from the possibility.
Over the past decade, that has been a dramatic increase in the popularity of online poker, but there is still the issue of whether it is legal or not.
According to Senator Jeff Danielson, there is no legality or illegality to playing online poker. The issue is in a limbo and he believes that there should be a closure on the issue.
The Senator chairs the government committee of the state, which is responsible for gaming policy and he has prepared the bill to legalize online poker inIowa.
He stated that the issue of the seizing of the assets of the 3 largest online poker companies last year has hurt the economy and players have fought to gather their winnings.
He also said that, no one knows where the money goes to, and there is no guarantee that the winners can get their winnings and it has reached a point wherein not onlyIowa’s economy is being affected but also the economy of the nation.
He also insisted that internet gambling can actually bring in about $30 to $100 million of revenues for Iowa and about more than $5 billion for the nation.
The bill he is preparing would provide local casinos the chance to offer another service on their respective websites as long as they can provide it in a safe and secure platform.
Kim Pang, Diamond Jo Casino’s General Manager in Northwood, stated that, the casinos always want to ensure the gambling is regulated and no minors are ever allowed to gamble. He also said that through these regulations a fine can be established so that people would be deterred from gambling.
Danielson added that, there will be millions in state tax revenues once the legalization has been finalized, but he pointed out that the focus is not on that. And he also assured that casinos will be ready if ever the legalization plans will pass.
US Congressman Dennis Cardoza Meets With California Lawmakers to Discuss Gambling Laws
While the US Congress was in session last Wednesday, US Representative Dennis Cardoza was in Sacramento to discuss Internet poker laws with California lawmakers and some friends. This is according to interviews and reports.
Congressman Cardoza who owns ten racehorses has won over $125,000 from racing. It was also reported that he has gotten over $60,000 campaign donations from horse racing interest.
Reports say that the Sacramento meeting was aimed at discussing Internet gaming issues that include Internet poker.
The discussion was centered on the issue of whether to legalize online gaming inCaliforniaand who will be benefiting from it. Cardoza was seen accompanied by racehorse owners Bob Baffert and Mike Pegram, both are Thoroughbred Owners of California Trade Association officials. Also seen in their company was Gary Steven, a famous jockey and Platinum Advisor’s Robyn Black who is the lobbyist for the association.
That was actually the second visit of Cardoza to Sacramento. The first visit was in January 4, when a California Watch reporter spotted him in the Capitol also being accompanied by Black.
Cardoza emphasized in a phone interview that is an unpaid member of the Board of Directors of the association and that he has the approval of the Congress’ Ethics Committee for the service since last year.
He further stressed that the Sacramento meetings aims to call attention to the growing economic issues that the horse racing industry in the state is facing. He added that he is certainly not lobbying.
He even said the there is no conflict of interest because he is just a citizen that is having discussions with his old friends. He declined though, to name the lawmakers whom he had the discussions with.
His role though with the association has raised some ethical concerns since the rules of the House ethics strongly forbid the member from having any income generated from being a lobbyist.
Talks on Expanding Gambling In Illinois
The debate on whether to expand gambling in Illinois is till hanging in the air. While lawmakers are busy preparing for their legislative session this spring, supporters of the drive to expand gambling are working hard in accomplishing a breakthrough agreement that they wish would finally provide resolution for this unfinished business.
If a good agreement is achieved, five big casinos inIllinois– in Rockford, Chicago, Danville, South Cook County and Cook County– will be given the go signal to proceed.
There is a possibility of reaching an agreement from the negotiations done Wednesday between people of the Governor’s office and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s office, with the representatives ofIllinoiscasinos and the horse racing industry. The deal that could be approved though may not include agreements on permitting racetracks and slot machines, which happened to be the final obstacle in getting the bill passed into a law.
As discussions are ongoing, executives of racetracks insist that they still want slot machines. There are also discussions on options that will provide the racing world with a more stable and easily attainable stream of revenue that can be enforced by the courts.
Illinois Governor, Pat Quinn, is still expressing his opposition on slot machines and racetracks. He explained that if tracks owners are allowed to build “mini casinos” (slot machines); there might be a gambling fever inIllinois, that is why for him, it is better to search for a better alternative to get revenues.
Supporters of gambling expansion in Illinois are now stating that if there will be further stalling on talks, they will be forced to work towards getting a supermajority, this mean getting three-fifths vote, in both House and Senate to supersede the expected refusal from the Governor.
There are other suggestions being given, like one from the President of Hawthorne Racecourse, Tim Carey, who said that it would be better to get sign direct contract with the casino and he also stresses that, they actually do not need the legislature.