Online gambling was proposed years ago when the states realized the potential of more revenue without having to raise taxes. It seemed like the logical step for gambling and the lottery because the Internet is (and was even back then) the largest and fastest growing marketplace. With states in dire need of more money, the proposal seemed to be their answer however the United States Justice Department ruled against the proposal.
Years later the Justice Department has finally reversed their decision. Apparently their legal opinion was issued in September but it wasn’t made public until the 23rd of December. This was in response to several requests by the states of New York and Illinois to clarify an act from 1961 called the Wire Act.
The Wire Act, despite being grossly outdated, caused many to fear legal repercussions because it prohibited wagering over telecommunications systems that went from state to state or even internationally. These telecommunication systems extended to the Internet and prevented states from using this popular platform as a way to sell more lottery tickets.
Despite Illinois and New York wanting clarification on the act so that they could sell the lottery tickets, this official statement has now opened the door for Internet poker and other gambling forms to be legalized online.
The superintendent of the Illinois Lottery, Michael Jones, stated that the request for clarification on the outdated act was spurred on by extensive research that done prior proving that offering the lottery online would significantly increase sales and participation.
Now that the Wire Act was rectified New York Lottery officials could finally implement their online gaming system that they developed years ago. Their lottery gaming system was never actually put up because the contractor was concerned about legal issues that could arise due to the Wire Act.
On top of implementing their new online gaming system New York will also be adding in two jackpot games. These games will be called Powerball and Sweet Million and would let New York citizens to purchase tickets online for the first time.
Unfortunately the ruling is still recent and it will be a few more months before the lottery officials have everything in place to implement online offers and gaming systems. The officials will likely take a very cautious approach to their implementation of online lottery as over eagerness could lead to disastrous results.
Fortunately this newly opened door will make way for some positive improvements on top of increased revenue. The problem with the gambling system before was that it was impossible to monitor against excessive spending of participants; people could just walk into multiple stores and spend whatever amount and there would be no way to track it. Now, with the ability to monitor credit card sales on online gambling, people can be protected against excessive spending.
So far online betting and gambling has been a highly successful venture for online businesses but all of the profits have gone offshore due to the restrictions here in the states. Now that those restrictions are gone the potential revenue pulled into the states could be tens of billions of dollars.