A trade organization for the online gaming industry was the subject of a 2015 G2E talk about regulating U.S. iGaming markets led by Bill Pascrell III, director of the Gaming Practice of Princeton Public Affairs Group.
The American Gaming Association already is the gambling industry’s trade group, but the subject of online gaming has led to internal rifts and created a vacuum. Despite volumes of evidence refuting their position, certain gaming interests and legislators are concerned that online gambling will cannibalize brick-and-mortar casinos. In addition, despite several years of operating without incident, some still fear geolocation and player verification technology, even though banks and other financial institutions rely on that same technology. Even more frustrating is that one of the main arguments against iGaming expansion is that it leads to more problem gambling—despite the fact that there is no evidence to support this claim.
But even lacking a trade organization, the online gaming industry has made some progress in the U.S. Nevada, Delaware and New Jersey have legalized online gaming—all accomplished when the AGA’s official position favored legalizing and regulating online gambling. Minnesota, Georgia, Illinois and Michigan have legalized online lottery sales. Pennsylvania is considering legalizing iGaming, California is looking at iPoker and Kentucky is reviewing iLottery. Massachusetts, New York, Mississippi and Florida also are looking it over.
An iGaming trade organization would create a cohesive, coherent message that could unite the pro-online gaming interests and help them streamline their message and focus their lobbying dollars. One compelling message would help the industry put down anti-online gambling claims quickly and effectively.