A backdoor to online gambling – the lottery

It is the first of May, we ought to dancing around the Maypole or marching behind the red flag – but we are not.  In fact today hardly seems like a special day to me; just more of the same, no difference from yesterday or tomorrow.  Reading the gaming news certainly increases that feeling for me; the gaming industry is just plodding along through 2012,  moving a little farther away from the recession and a little closer to the future, which eventually will include the Internet.  The big news for the rest of 2012 in gaming will be the process in Massachusetts towards drafting regulations, fixing the locations and issuing license for the first casinos in that state; the new casinos in Ohio, two of which will open in May; the grand opening of Revel and the debut of the remodeled, rebranded Golden Nugget in Atlantic City; and a string of proposals for a new or expanded gambling in a bunch of states – that and of course the online gambling storyline.

Online gambling is not a very swift moving story; not much is likely to happen in the immediate future, except for the state lotteries and that is the storyline.  In April all of the lottery directors in the country met in Washington, D. C. to discuss their future and how to take advantage of the Internet.  It is going to be difficult for conventional, land-based, bricks and mortar companies to keep with the lotteries, at least in the short-term; the lotteries have serious advantage, they do not require any additional legislation or approval.  Lottery directors are going to begin putting their games online; at first the games will be offered within their own states only.  However, it will not take long before they begin to connect to other states.

In the meantime congress will be debating online gaming and individual states will be setting their own standards.  While the debates and regulations stumble along, the lotteries are free to race ahead.   Brick and mortar traditional casinos are caught in a bind, wanting to explore the internet, but held back by a lack of regulatory structure.  For them to step in online gambling without protective state and federal regulations would endanger their current licenses; it is a risk none is willing to take a the moment.  The slot machines companies are less restricted, while they may not be able to put their games online by themselves, those lottery directors are going to be looking for games their players want to play.   IGT, Aristocrat, Ballys and Williams are ready and waiting get online, the front door is blocked by congress and state regulators, but lotteries are going to offer a backdoor to the world, and income, of online gambling.   For an industry that has always been very tightly controlled and regulated, this next phase is going to be a bit disturbing.  The feds ruling on the legality of online gambling is going to start to bear fruit, in ways the feds do not seemed to have anticipated.


1 Response to “A backdoor to online gambling – the lottery”

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