The push towards legalizing online gambling continues and the leading advocate appears to be Senator Mike Kowall, who has introduced another draft bill S 203 The Lawful Internet Gaming Act. Last year in April, Kowall proposed SB 889 which failed to pass the Senate due to the issues concerning Indian tribes.
The issue lies in the fact that the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act which allows Indian tribes to operate casino without paying taxes on the revenue. This act was introduced with the aim to strengthen the shaken economy of the tribes. Now the matter raised by the prospect of introducing an internet gaming act is whether the tribes will be subject to the tax and licensing fee. Kowall’s draft bill from April 2016 proposed a $5 million license fee and 10% tax rate. Now, the new bill proposes three different categories of licenses: for operator, platform providers and vendors. The highest fee would be imposed on the operators, of course. As mentioned above the issue is whether or not Indian tribes would be subject to these fees. If the answer is yes, this would contradict the IGRA, but if the answer is no, it would give a huge competitive advantage to tribal casino operators as opposed to other casinos in the state.
In his last year’s bill Kowall tried to include both the state casinos and tribal casinos within the regulations of his act, however, it was not received positively, especially by the tribal casino operators. Kowall did not back down before these obstacles, instead he continued working on formulating the bill and now he introduced a new bill that will be put to a vote next week in Senate Regulatory Reform Committee. Considering the fact that the bill is sponsored by five other senators, all of which are members of the Regulatory Reform Committee, a positive outcome of the vote is expected.
The year has started with serious intentions of legalizing online gambling announced by several states including New York, California, Pennsylvania and others. The fact that there are more and more states interested in and fighting for the legalization of online gambling increases the chances for all of them to pass their respective draft bills. One common aim of all the states is to regulate the existing market which due to the federal ban occurs in illicit channels and therefore it is unsafe for citizens who cannot count on any kind of protection, while on the other hand the states are missing out on great sources of revenue that could be directed into the state budget and forwarded to public institutions, as some of the proposed bills suggest. The states would benefit not only from licensing the online gambling activities but they would also generate huge sums from annual tax imposed on gross gaming revenue. Furthermore, monitoring and implementing security measures would protect the gamblers from frauds and illegal operations.
As with most things government related, it will still take a decent amount of time before we see state regulated online gaming and online poker. While these bills continue to get introduced and voted on, you can still make plenty of money being an online gaming affiliate for offshore online casinos, poker rooms and sportsbooks. See our home page for more details and also see our partners who we still work with today and offer a great online gaming experience for any of the players you send their way.