The biggest potential change would be in the United States, where Representative Barney Frank, Democrat of Massachusetts, is likely to introduce legislation within days, aimed at overturning the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act. “He supports it and wants to go forward on it,” said Steve Adamske, communications director for the House Financial Services Committee, of which Mr. Frank is chairman. “There will be a lot of gambling where no revenue coming in the governments,” said Gavin Kelleher researcher at H2 Gambling Capital in Ireland.
Mr. Frank failed to do so once before, in 2007 but advocates of liberalization think they may obtain a friendlier hearing in Washington this time. President Barack Obama, boasted of his poker prowess through the election campaign and the Democrats, who are regarded as less hostile to Internet gambling compared to Republicans, have tightened their grip on Congress.
Analysts say that may be getting a little bit ahead of the game. Opponents of a repeal, like the Christian Coalition of America and the National Football League, have vowed to fight any effort to get rid of the ban. Michele Combs, a spokeswoman for the Christian Coalition, said the group was gearing up for a huge campaign of letter-writing and lobbying to try to prevent any loosening of the law.
U.S. sports leagues, meanwhile, worry that the ease of online betting escalates the likelihood of game-fixing. Even the absolute most bullish advocates of online casino games and gambling acknowledge that Internet sports betting – instead of poker or casino games – is highly unlikely to be legalized. “There’s now an improved opportunity for some sort of gaming legislation to be approved,” said Nick.
Batram, an analyst at KBC Peel Hunt, a brokerage firm in London. “Nonetheless it took more than expected to place anti-gaming legislation in place so maybe it can take more than expected to remove it.”
Considering that the 2006 law was passed, North America has been passed by Europe and Asia, in accordance with figures from H2 Gambling Capital. What the law states makes it illegal for financial institutions to handle payments to online gambling and casino games sites. Some people using overseas payment processors to ensure that online gambling remains a fantastic business.
Now analysts say one possibility for European companies if the ban be lifted, would be to form partnerships with American casino operators read more. That would enable the European companies like PartyGaming to share their online expertise. Operating alone, they may struggle to acquire licenses, given their history of run-ins with U.S. police force, analysts said.
So far, Las Vegas executives have maintained a cautious stance about legalization of online gambling. Steve Wynn, chief executive of Wynn Resorts, said in an e-mail message that he thought it would be “impossible to regulate and although it would have been a benefit to the company, we’re strongly opposed,” he said.
Other online gambling companies whose shares are traded in London, including 888 Holdings and Sportingbet, continue to be in talks with the U.S. Justice Department. Analysts expect them, alongside companies like Bwin International, whose stock is traded in Vienna, to be concerned in a round of consolidation in the market – and also a possible eventual move back into the U.S..
Other countries, like Germany, Greece and the Netherlands, continue to put on out, though, in what the European Commission sees as an effort to protect government-sponsored gambling monopolies from private competition. The commission in March published a written report arguing that the U.S. was violating World Trade Organization rules by keeping out European gambling companies, considering the fact that online betting on horse racing is allowed in the United States. The commission said that it favored negotiations, rather than legal action, to get rid of the dispute.