What Are the Implications of Online Gambling?

What are the implications of online gambling, whether it be legal or not, on the community at large, whether it is the public, the consumer base, the political climate, or the economic climate in locales in which it may be a possibility? That is an interesting subject that deserves to be examined.

Where states are mobilized to legalize and license online gambling, it will have the effect of excluding operators who have already built brands, which may or may not have a deleterious effect on the industry as it exists today. Obviously the companies who are there already, and who do not have to depend on the United States for their revenue, won't be affected al all that much, as they have more than likely sought and have been granted licensure in other jurisdictions. In the U.S., however, they are going to carry the stigma of being "illegal" and may face more stringent restrictions than they already see now. They are not likely to be part of any legalization movement, because all indications are that states are going to permit online gambling only to existing licensees, which means those who already have a casino or pari-mutuel facility. The economic impact of that is hard to estimate, but some experts believe it would add up to $40 billion into state coffers in the way of tax revenues.

And theoretically, if every state legalized online gambling, it would effectively exclude all of the offshore-based operators from the possibility of getting much United States business, because there wouldn't be any restrictions on U.S. citizens, at least for casino gaming and poker. Sportsbooks are not currently a subject of proposed legislation to legalize online gambling; they are seen as more "risque" in nature. However, if the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) is successfully challenged in New Jersey, which is seeking to license physical sportsbook locations, that could change the climate somewhat.

Generally, online gambling, as it exists now, gives players many, many choices, so they are free to find better rules, better payouts, better software, better bonuses, etc. if they shop around enough. In the event of legalization, those choices are naturally going to be limited by the licensing process. So ultimately, even though they may have more deposit options and could play without worries about being paid, they will still have fewer options as to who to open an account with, and that is potentially a major implication.