The US state of Nevada became the first in America to permit online gambling with a new law aimed at online poker and casino games. The law was passed with bi-partisan support in order to beat the state of New Jersey to be the first location in the US with a legal structure for online gaming.
The governor of Nevada, Brian Sandoval, described the law as a new frontier for the gambling industry. In 2011 the federal government released an opinion giving states the green light to allow online gambling as long as there wasn’t a current law on the books that explicitly prohibits it. As Nevada is the home to Las Vegas, it only made sense for the western state to be the first in the nation to create this legal framework.
Gaming industry researchers have estimated the online gambling market to be work over $100 billion by 2017 due to the increase of internet connected smartphones. Both established tech companies like Zynga and Facebook along with casino operators like MGM and Las Vegas Sands are potential partners to exploit this market in the US.
At first the Nevada law will only benefit players in the state as no other US state allows internet gambling. However, with other states expected to come on board soon, this will allow for agreements between online casino operators to accept players from across the country.
What could this mean for international players in places like New Zealand? For one, it could offer increased competition amongst global online casino operators. Assuming that one day US online casinos will be able to accept international customers, this will benefit the global gaming community as a whole with more choice, competition between operators, and better bonuses and deals for online gamblers.