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Illinois Sees Gambling as Answer to Budget Woes

March 23, 2017 Category :Regulation 0

Gift of MoneyThe Illinois Senate has given its full support to the bill that plans to introduce six new casinos in the state with the aim to stabilize the shaken financial situation of the state. The idea of gambling expansion comes as an answer to the failed attempts to devise an effective budget plan over the last two years. Next to six new casinos, the new draft bill plans to reduce the tax rate in addition to slot machines at airports and racetracks. If this bill does gets passed and Illinois does in fact get the go ahead to build these six casinos it will be like a huge gift to the cash strapped state.

Gambling is the way out

For the past two years Illinois has been functioning without a budget plan and now it seems gambling industry could be its savior, by generating revenue through license fees and tax rates. Precisely this is the reason why state legislators have decided to draft and propose a bill that would allow for six new casinos to be built within the borders of the state. Popularly called “Grand bargain” has received the support of the Senate, however, there are other hurdles to be crossed. Prior to enforcing this proposal, a set of related bills also must be passed.

Everyone benefits

Should all go in favour of the gambling expansion the six new casinos will be built in Chicago, Lake County, Rockford, Danville and Williamson County, while airports and horse racing tracks will be allowed to add slot machines. The existing “river-boat” casinos will also benefit from the new legislation. In fact, their current tax rate of 50% will be dramatically reduced to 20% for slots and 16% for table games. In addition to that, the existing casinos will be allowed to add 400 seats at their premises.

Senator Terry Link has sponsored the analysis of this gambling expansion plan and came forth with the results which look promising. It is estimated by the analysis that the state would generate around $1 billion from license fees, while the annual revenue would record an increase of 18% which amounts to over $500 million. Furthermore, the construction of six new casinos will open new workplaces and improve touristic offer of the state.

Opposing arguments

No matter how fiercely the advocates of gambling expansion indicate the benefits that the new casinos will bring, there are still those who do not see gambling as the best way to tackle the budget issues. Anita Bedell, director of Illinois Church Action on Alcohol and Addiction Problems points to the possible problems gambling could create and she also states that gambling expansion could, in fact, cost more than it will earn. She states: “For every $1 gambling brings the state, taxpayers dole out $3 to address the accompanying uptick in addiction, crime and bankruptcy.”

She also raises an interesting question of the competitiveness of the land-based casino in the world of video gaming and online casinos. With the constant development and growth of online gambling this is a matter to consider. However, there are no words on dealing with legalizing online gambling, even though this might be a better solution for the financially shaken state of Illinois.

Wrap Up

Currently, only Nevada, Delaware and New Jersey offer legal online gambling, though many states are fighting to join them. Online gambling is becoming increasingly popular as players can enjoy playing in real money online casinos right from the comfort of home. Even play using a real live human being as the dealer at any of our recommended USA live dealer casinos. Watch your game unfold in real time over a live streaming feed. See more on any of our USA live online casinos.

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Hawaii to Consider Gaming Bill

February 12, 2017 Category :Regulation 0

The number of US states trying to introduce online gambling into their legislation is growing as next to New York, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts that have been actively working on this issue in recent months another US state joins their battle and that is Hawaii. Couple of days ago Senator Will Espero proposed a bill SB677 which aims to legalize online poker, online casino games and lottery in the state. The main aim of the bill is to tackle the issue of illegal online gambling in the state and to use the potential of online gambling to boost the economy.

Hawaii is one of the few states in the US that has no land-based gambling facilities on its territory. Perhaps this is why many of its residents engage in illegal online gambling activities via offshore channels. This means that Hawaiian bettors enter into shady operations and they are not protected in any way. According to Senator Will Espero this problem can be solved by allowing online gambling within the state and introducing a law that would regulate the internet gambling activity. With this in mind SB677 implies the foundation of a regulatory body, Hawaii Internet Lottery and Gaming Corporation that would monitor and regulate US online poker, US online casinos and lottery. According to the draft bill online sports betting would not be allowed while the law would also set age limit for players, so as to prevent those under 19 from taking part in gambling activities.

On the other hand, there is the financial aspect of this matter. Legalizing online gambling would mean that tens of thousands of dollars that are currently spent illegally through online gambling channels would be directed into the state budget and invested into the improvement of education system. Similarly to other states proposing iGaming laws, Senator Espero’s proposal also includes paying a licensing fee and imposing a tax rate on generated revenue from gambling. The new regulations would allow for the state to enter into agreements with other states, as well as organize land-based gambling events as a part of tourist offer.

Last year, there have been several attempts to introduce regulated gambling in the state of Hawaii. More than 10 draft bills were introduced regarding lottery, daily fantasy sports, installing slot machines on airports and many other bills. Whether any of them will pass the Senate and come into effect in 2017 remains to be seen, but it seems that it will be a long haul.

With all the efforts Hawaii and other states, especially Pennsylvania are making, there is a positive cloud over the prospects of legalized online gambling. Namely, this cloud is reflected in the face of Senator Jeff Sessions, new US Attorney General who is known to be a strong opponent of online gambling. He announced the revisiting of America’s Federal Wire Act, since he claims that he does not agree with its current interpretation, which allows the regulation of online gambling on a state level.

As we wait for these states and online gambling as a whole to be legalized on a federal level, you can still play at the best US friendly online casinos available on the Internet. Our top rated US online casino is Lucky Red which offers a great selection of games and slots. Check out our Lucky Red Casino review for more details and to sign up. Another popular area of online gaming is live dealer games. Play against a real live person for popular games like blackjack, baccarat, roulette and casino holdem. See the best USA live dealer casinos and play at a brick and mortar casino right from home.

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Massachusetts Eyes Online Lottery

November 4, 2016 Category :Regulation 0

On Wednesday a new bill was filed by Massachusetts Treasurer Deborah Goldberg to legalize online lottery through a new concept called iLottery. The new legal framework is supposed to allow drawing tickets and playing games on the internet, but it will include rules about payments, setting the spending limit and preventing minors from playing. The rest of the details will be left up to Massachusetts State Lottery Commission to determine.

Lottery Should Keep Up With the Time and Technology

This summer a bill on allowing the sales of lottery tickets online and via mobile devices got the green light from Joint Committee on Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure but it failed to pass the Senate. Now, Treasurer Goldberg followed through on her promise to file the new bill on iLottery on November 2nd. She argued that the sale of lottery tickets might face a decline in the future and that it should be modernized to suit the needs of new-age players.

Though there are heated debates about “putting” the lottery online and many have already attacked Goldberg’s proposal claiming that online lottery would negatively affect gambling habits and be more available to underage players, the Treasurer has readily retorted to their objections. She has pointed out that iLottery will enable them to monitor the behavior of the players and thus have better insights in their habits.

Furthermore, the bill itself will include strict rules about the spending limits, it will not allow the use of credit cards and require verification from players that they are located in the state of Massachusetts and that they are over 18. As the Boston Globe reports, even the convenience store owner will be covered by the bill through a clause obliging the state commission to actively work on their promotion and they will also be allowed to offer gift cards that could be used for playing lottery online.

Online Gaming and DFS Under Consideration

Another major step in the regulation of online gambling in Massachusetts has been made this week. Special Commission on Online Gaming, Fantasy Sports Gaming and Daily Fantasy Sports was formed following the passing of the bill on regulation of daily fantasy sports. The role of the commission is to create a study that will look into the potentials of online gaming and daily fantasy sports. The newly-founded commission will have a task to carefully examine every aspect of the prospect of regulation of online gaming including “economic development, consumer protection, taxation, legal and regulatory structures, implications for existing gaming, burdens and benefits to the commonwealth and any other factors the commission deems relevant”.

The set time framework for the completion of the study is July next year. Eileen Donoghue and Representative Joseph Wagner will be leading figures in the Commission, which will meet regularly every four to six weeks.

The above is a move in the right direction for the full legalization of online gaming and online casinos. While a slow process, steps are being taken to better understand online gaming and once states and the US Government as a whole fully understands the revenue implications through taxation, we believe it will not be long before we see a fully regulated and legal USA online casino based right here in the United States. We are not there yet, but every step forward gets us that much closer. For now though, USA players will still have to play at real money online casinos located offshore.