Online Gambling

States May Beat Federal Government To Online Gambling Regulations

USA Players Accepted at Rome Casino!

New Jersey senators took the first step last week in changing the online gambling culture in the US. The senators approved a bill legalizing online gambling, and that approval may have opened the door to many other states exploring the issue.

The discussions have already begun in states such as Florida and California, but the depth to which the Internet gaming regulations were defined by New Jersey senators may cause other states to go into the two-minute drill regarding Internet gambling.

The most obvious reason why states would attempt to create their own regulations before the federal government is the tax rate. On a federal level, the tax rate for states would be only around six percent. By regulating the industry themselves, states could require a tax rate of upwards of twenty-five percent.

“When you look at the disparity between what online gaming operators would pay at a state level compared to a federal level, it is much more beneficial for states to beat the US government to the regulations,” said Gaming Analyst Steve Schwartz. “As more states start to understand this, there could be a major online gambling explosion in the next couple of years.”

Unless lawmakers attach Representative Barney Frank’s Internet gambling regulation bill to a jobs bill in the lame-duck session, it is unlikely that changes will be made to the current US laws in the next two years. While the issue is bi-partisan to a degree, Democrats having the majority would have made law changes much more likely.

In addition to the tax rate, states around the US will now have a model to base their judgements on. If New Jersey regulates Internet gambling with little issues arising, legislators in other states would be able to use the statistics when debating anti-gambling foes.

New Jersey legislators have also worded the law in a way that they may be able to circumvent the federal laws. By offering betting to only New Jersey residents, the state would be within its rights to authorize Internet gambling within the framework of their own laws, something other states would also be able to accomplish.

Australian Centrebet

Sportingbet Looking To Purchase Australian Centrebet

The world of online gambling has become increasingly competitive over the past few years. With more and more countries regulating Internet gambling, companies are scrambling to merge in the hopes of dominating the market.

The latest attempt at a takeover comes from Sportingbet. The UK online gaming company is in negotiations to but Centrebet, Australia’s biggest online bookmaker. The latest price that has been reported is $175 million. The move would give Sportingbet a leg up in the Australian market.

Companies from all over the world are making moves to position themselves to move into the US Internet gambling market in the future. The US is considered the most lucrative market in the world, but as of yet lawmakers have not ended the online gambling prohibition they have in place.

That prohibition could come to an end as early as later this year. Representative Joe Barton has introduced a bill late last week that would regulate online poker. If the bill passes, it is unlikely Sportingbet would be able to gain a license in the US.

One area of online gambling that will remain illegal in the US even if the Barton bill passes is sports betting. being that a large portion of Sportingbet’s operation involves online sports wagering, US regulators would likely deny any attempt of the company to gain a license.

The Australian market, however, is another story. In Australia, online sports betting is big business. Centrebet has cornered the market in Australia, becoming the first company to be permitted to offer sports betting. It also was the first bookmaker to go online in the Southern hemisphere.

Paddy Power is a main competitor to Sportingbet, and they have already started operating in Australia. If Sportingbet can finish off the acquisition of Centrebet, it would open the door for the company to gain control in the market.

Sportingbet And Unibet

Sportingbet And Unibet May Join Forces In 2011

USA Players Accepted at Rome Casino!

The new trend in online gaming is to merge some of the biggest companies in the world to create one mega-company. Already this year, PartyGaming and Bwin created a stir when they merged this summer, and now it appears to more companies are preparing to join forces.

Sportingbet is one of the largest online gambling companies in the world, and they have a specific rival, Unibet, based in Sweden. Reports have now surfaced that the two companies have begun discussions that could lead to a merger, although that is not expected to take place until 2011.

The laws in the US may have a lot to do with the jockeying for power that is going on in Europe. The European companies would love to be in a position to enter the US market if it is opened up to outside companies, and by merging, the new companies being formed will be in a strong position to gain licensing in the US.

A proposal has already been approved in the House Financial Services Committee earlier this year. The legislation, however, is not expected to be voted on by the full House before the end of the year. If the lawmakers do not vote on the bill, Representative Barney Frank would have to start the process over again next year.

The chances of legislation passing next year are slim with the Republican Party taking control of the House. Rep. Spencer Bacchus has been a long-time opponent of online gambling, and he likely will become a major voice in the Financial Services Committee moving forward, at least for the next two years.

Sportingbet has seen revenues jump in the past fiscal year by twenty-seven percent. That figure was aided, according to the company, by a large increase in betting in live sporting events. The 2010 World Cup was a driving force behind the sports betting this summer.

Sportingbet recently reached an agreement with the US stemming from bets they accepted from US citizens back from 1998 to 2006. That agreement not only helps Sportingbet avoid prosecution, but also eases the strained relationship with the US, which could result in licensing in the country in the future.