With the recent challenges to Internet gambling in the United States, a pannel discussion at the Global Gaming Expo addressed the issue this week. Moderated by Lloyd Levenson, Chairman of the Casino and iGaming Law practice group, this panel of experts discussed the issues facing iGaming in the U.S. and the future of the industry.
Panel members Susan Hensel, Director of Licensing for the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board; Matthew Katz, CEO of CAMS, LLC; and Michael Choen, Caesars Interactive Entertainment began discussing the current legislation being considered by the Pennsylvania Senate as the state is poised to be the next to legalize internet gaming, along with daily fantasy sports and airport gaming. While Hensel was not 100% optimistic of House Bill 2150 being passed during the final nine session days, it is important legislation to spur momentum in the states where internet gaming remains illegal.
A common theme throughout the panel was the fact that the legislation affecting internet gaming tends to fall behind the advancements in the industry. Katz referred to recent legislation proposed in Massachusetts that looks beyond the current possibilities to encompass the potential beyond land-based casinos. This type of legislation, posed Katz, would allow states to be nimble and stay on top of regulating the latest trend before it becomes irrelevant.
According to the panel, the future of iGaming is tied to land-based casinos. As the facilities work to attract different types of players, they will look to different avenues to reach new markets. An example brought up was the Illinois Lottery going live online. Retailers were worried this would take away from their sales as people purchased tickets at home. However, studies conducted afterward showed the retailers were not affected as a brand new market emerged as first-time lottery players began purchasing tickets online while seasoned players continued to go to their favorite brick-and-mortar store.