Do Remember When Television Was New?

1950 RCA Ad -  Dec '49 NY Herald (150K)

Not every day do we get a real glimpse of a new trend, a peak into the future; but once in a while we do. Even most of those days or moments of insight are not really glimpses of the future, just enough information in one place and at one time to see today’s realities. So, for example, in yesterday’s news  Pennsylvania dominated the news with reports of revenue increases and decreases, more financing for existing casinos, new licensee hopefuls and the possibility of more slot machines. The trend

Today was a great day to get cross-sectional view of the state of online gambling in the world.

In Congress, California and New Jersey Internet gambling bills are being discussed; the American Gaming Associated admitted that the majority of its manufacturer/distributor members support regulated online gaming.  The gaming commission in Nevada issued a letter warning Nevada licensees to avoid any contact with Internet gambling either directly or indirectly through third parties. Ray Hagar of the Reno Gazette-Journal, did a story on Internet gambling posing a question: “Is it too lucrative not to legalize?” The article says there are 12 billion dollars at stake and the money is going off-shore, is untaxed and brings no benefit to our existing gaming industry.

The EU court upheld the decision by a Dutch court validating the government of Holland right to keep outsiders out; but Greece and Italy are liberalizing their Internet gambling laws as our several eastern European countries. Malaysia authorized online gaming, Malaysia like all of the Internet gaming sites in existence are trying to take advantage of the World Cup forecasted to be the largest betting event ever in history. The article from Reno also included some speculation on the preparation of the major gaming companies for online gaming – it seems none think it will be illegal forever.  Online gaming will be a real test for Nevada – if and when Congress finally passes a bill legalizing it, Nevada will have to go along, regardless of threat it may represent to Nevada gaming taxes or Nevada’s ability to control and regulate gaming.

Pennsylvania and all of the east coast states with casinos are facing severe and growing competition, but that will be mild compared to the competition that will arise from online gaming.  Legalizing online gaming will represent the same challenge to bricks and mortar casinos that television represented to movie theaters.


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June 2010
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