US Online Gambling Momentum Tracker

Which states are being actively tracked for online poker and casino legislation by Online Poker Report?

Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Nevada and Delaware all have some form of legal online gambling in place. And more states are likely to join them, perhaps as soon as next year.

Below is a look at the states we’re tracking right now. This list will update as events warrant. You can find a more-complete legislative tracker here.

Last updated Jan. 9.

 

Connecticut online gambling

Momentum: Treading water

The lowdown: The Connecticut legislature adjourned for 2018 without resolving any gaming issues. Yet, the state remains on this list…

The US Supreme Court decision to allow state-regulated sports betting sparked some chatter in the capital. Gov. Dannel Malloy said he wanted to call lawmakers into a special session to revisit that issue.

It looked like online gambling could be part of that session, maybe used as a bargaining chip to garner tribal support. That never materialized. As expected, any gaming bills will struggle to pass until the East Windsor situation is sorted out.

Connecticut will likely try again in 2019.

 

Illinois online gambling

Momentum: Slightly up

The lowdown: Illinois burst onto the scene as a contender to legalize online gambling in 2017, when the Senate passed a bill with ease. The House didn’t vote on the legislation, and slim hopes of something happening quickly came and went.

The conversation shifted to sports betting in 2018, and the omnibus route appeared as the most direct path for Illinois to pursue expansion in the short term.

Days before adjournment, Rep. Robert Rita rekindled a dormant casino bill, filing an amendment that spawned two hearings in the Gaming House Subcommittee. The changes include placeholders to legalize online gambling, daily fantasy sports and sports betting in one fell swoop. No provisions, just placeholders.

During the hearings, Rita indicated that all three of those articles require more work than can be done before adjournment. The amendment did set the stage for the next round of discussions, though.

A lack of chatter about online gambling during an October expansion hearing figures to bode well for its chances in 2019.

 

Massachusetts online gambling

Momentum: Treading water

The lowdown: An over-arching gaming bill that appears to allow for online gambling surfaced this year. The bill’s focus, however, is daily fantasy sports. A hearing was held on the bill in February, but it’s been largely crickets since then.

The gaming commission in Massachusetts remains one of the most up-to-speed organizations when it comes to new forms of gaming. The latest example: It’s now preparing for the possibility of sports betting.

That being said, all gaming efforts took a small step backward this fall with the resignation of the top regulator, Stephen Crosby. We’ll check in again in 2019.

 

Michigan online gambling

Momentum: Up!

The lowdown: It took until the very last day of the session, but Michigan online gambling finally made some progress in the legislature. Both chambers passed a package of bills from Rep. Brandt Iden which also featured one sentence of online sports betting language.

On his way out of office, however, former Gov. Rick Snyder vetoed the package. Snyder cited concerns over cannibalization of land-based casino and online lottery revenue, though those arguments have been thoroughly invalidated in other markets.

The veto likely does little more than kick the can down the road into 2019. Iden has plans to reintroduce his online gambling bills, as well as a separate effort surrounding sports betting.

 

New York online gambling

Momentum: Slightly up

The lowdown: The New York legislature adjourned for 2018 without legalizing online gambling. Bills which had made progress in both chambers failed to come to a vote in either.

As the 2019 session begins, lawmakers are set to consider online poker legislation for the sixth consecutive year. Serving as the new chair of the Senate Racing, Gaming and Wagering Committee, Sen. Joseph Addabbo is off and running with the baton passed by now-retired Sen. John Bonacic.

In January, Addabbo introduced a bill that would reclassify online poker as a legal game of skill. Prospects for passage remain somewhat cloudy, but there is a fresh proposal on file as the session begins, at least.

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