[toc]A new year means a new round of legislative sessions at the state and national levels.
With new politicians in office, budget woes on the horizon in many states and a shift in party control, online gambling is back at the forefront of many political discussions.
Let’s take a look at developments around the country both in states which have online gambling and states which are drawing increasingly closer to possibly regulating online gaming in the future.
A new state to keep an eye on in 2017 is Massachusetts.
State Senator Bruce Tarr introduced a brief bill to legalize and regulate online gambling within the state. State Senator Jennifer Flanagan reintroduced her legislation to expand the state’s lottery to online sales.
Last year, the state passed a bill to expressly allow daily fantasy sports (DFS) in the state. So far, 2017 seems on pace to expand online gaming offerings even further.
Moreover, it was a record month for New Jersey with $18.4 million in revenue. The previous record was $17.4 million in June of 2016.
On the brick and mortar front, properties in Atlantic City continued to struggle. Carl Icahn caused headlines with rumors swirling about the future of the Taj Mahal Casino.
Glenn Straub, owner of Revel nee TEN Hotel, also complained about city bureaucracy delaying his desired opening date of Feb. 20.
Online poker continues to hold steady in Nevada, but the big poker news of the week was the release of information about the biggest live tournament series of the year.
The World Series of Poker revealed dates and information about the marquee events of the summer. The big tournaments like Colossus, Millionaire Maker, the Seniors Event and, of course, the Main Event are scheduled for every weekend throughout the summer.
The complete WSOP schedule should be out next month.
Like Massachusetts, New York begins the year with whispers of online gaming progress. No official bills have been introduced, but Gaming Compliance reports ($) that a bill should be introduced in the state assembly shortly.
The new year began much like the last year ended in the Pennsylvania Senate. Sen. Jay Costa re-introduced his online gaming framework, but it could take months for the bill to pass through both the House and Senate.
It failed to do so in 2016.
Meanwhile, computers and poker players are clashing in a different way in Pittsburgh. A quartet of poker pros is currently logging hands against Carnegie Mellon’s newest version of poker artificial intelligence, Liberatus.
The last time humans took on a bot from Carnegie Mellon, they technically won, but the match was declared a statistical draw. This time around, the new AI features less exploitable bluffing ranges and addresses other observations the pros offered from their first battle of the bot.