The immediate movement on online gambling legislation slowed to a halt this week. Pennsylvania legislators are still battling it out over a possible gambling expansion package. New York’s online poker bill is dead for 2017 too. Hope is fading for Illinois online gambling as well.
The short term is not so great, yes. However there are a number of longer-term developments for the gambling world worth focusing on.
Gambling research taking the industry seriously
The progress on the legal front may be slow, but more than one organization is taking big strides when it comes to gambling research. The Social and Economic Impacts of Gambling in Massachusetts (SEIGMA) is a group of researchers based at the University of Massachusetts.
The state commissioned the group when it passed laws authorizing casinos in 2011. So far, only one of those three casinos opened. Plainridge Park opened its doors as a casino since 2015. In the time leading up to that, SEIGMA researched a whole range of socioeconomic factors. As a result, they have data from before casinos to compare to the time after Wynn Boston Harbor and MGM Springfield open.
Meanwhile, Rutgers University is focusing its research on the burgeoning world of online gambling. The New Jersey school’s Center for Gambling Studies is looking specifically at how problem gambling and online gambling affect one another.
New white papers say yay to New Jersey online casinos
Last week, it was iDEA who had the study on the benefits of online casinos in New Jersey. This week another study echoed that sentiment.
This time it was Spectrum Internet Gaming Heuristic Theorem (SIGHT). The group released a study commemorating its 15th year of research. The focus of the research is looking at online casinos from a land-based perspective.
The conclusion after 15 years? That more physical casinos need to look into online casino partnerships. Not only that, but land-based casino companies need to think of online casinos differently. Rather than just a revenue source, they need to think of it as a marketing tool to bring in new customers to the brand.
New York down for the count, but not out
This final bit of progress is more a silver lining than progress to be honest. There is something good to know about the New York online poker bill.
Yes, it failed to pass this legislative session. That means no online poker in 2017. But, the bright side is iPoker lobbyists get to pick right back up where they left off in 2018. Thanks to a new state law, New York legislation that is not acted upon by the end of a legislative session carries over to the following year.
So, this progress is not all for naught. Instead, New York begins 2018 where we leave off this year–closer to regulation than ever before.