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Lawmakers from across the US to Discuss iGaming Legislation

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An influential gathering of state lawmakers from across the US is set to begin in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, today. The focus is the crucial topics of iGaming expansion and the regulatory framework needed to support it.

Nationwide iGaming Expansion on the Table

The National Council of Legislators from Gaming States (NCLGS) conference brings together over 300 participants representing 29 states. It aims to address the evolving landscape of iGaming and its potential impact on the gaming industry and state economies.

A year ago, the NCLGS conference in Las Vegas held high hopes for an expansion of iGaming states to add to Connecticut, Delaware, Michigan, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. Nevada only offers online poker and Rhode Island is set to introduce an internet casino in 2024. The initial thought was that iGaming legislation might gain traction in Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, New York, Ohio and Colorado.

However, several challenges have impeded the progress of iGaming expansion. Lawmakers have expressed concerns about the potential cannibalization of land-based casinos, leading to job losses and the issue of addiction among iGaming users, despite industry claims that such concerns are unfounded. Additionally, the recent abundance of state revenue from the federal government's pandemic response has lessened the urgency for iGaming as a revenue-generating strategy.

Despite these hurdles, there are signs of potential progress in 2024. New York and Maryland are considered to be the most likely states to enact iGaming legislation this year. However, lawmakers in these states will need to carefully consider the parameters of any iGaming framework, particularly the tax rate, which could pose the most significant challenge.

Reframing the iGaming Framework

The NCLGS conference will also unveil a major initiative on best practices for iGaming legislation. This echoes its 2023 initiative on responsible gaming.

While many lawmakers are eager to see iGaming expansion, the NCLGS is focusing on establishing guardrails to ensure responsible and ethical practices within the iGaming industry. Because each state has taken a different approach to gambling legislation, this is proving to be a problematic subject.

Discussions will also delve into the disparities in iGaming implementation across states, examining its impact on land-based casinos and employment in states where it has been legalized. Other topics on the agenda include advertising in sports betting, lotteries, tribal gaming, responsible gaming, the future of horse racing, the implications of off-reservation sports betting in Florida, the potential for sports betting in Oklahoma, and the adoption of artificial intelligence and cybersecurity measures in the gaming industry.

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