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US Poised to Support Federal Bill for Online Casino and Sports Betting

January 11, 2019

Sports betting in the United States is a multi-billion dollar industry. More than $4.9 billion was bet on sports in Las Vegas in 2017, and that only reflects the money that was wagered legally through the city's casino sportsbooks. Clearly, US residents love to gamble. 

In response to the growing interest in online casinos and online sports betting in the US, many states have enacted legislation that permit their residents to bet online. Many are wondering if the federal government can avoid legalizing online casinos and sportsbooks nationwide. 

The truth is that a federal bill legalizing online casinos would help to create uniform regulations that could be applied throughout the US. It would also open up more competition between online casinos because players would be able to choose where to spend their wagering dollars. At the present time each state that permits online gambling only allows state residents to participate. 

Responsible gaming policies and consumer protections are just two potential benefits of a federal gaming bill. Even though most people accept the benefits, previous attempts to enact legislation have failed. Senators Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Orrin Hatch (R-UT) decided to withdraw a bipartisan sports betting bill in December 2017 after the bill was criticized for overreach. 

As a new group of legislators take up their place in the US Congress, 2019 could result in more efforts being made to federally legalize online gambling in the US. Most experts believe that continued opposition to legalization is pointless because states continue to pass their own gambling bills. 

States like Nevada, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania are reaping the rewards of revenue from online gambling. This is money that can be spent to improve roads and education. The revenues achieved by some states are staggering, and this may eventually prompt federal action. The Congress may be unable to deny the usefulness of federal gaming revenues if legislation were passed.

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