According to a recent report being propagated by the pro-online gambling forces (Caesars, MGM, AGA, etc…) there are 10 states: California, Colorado, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, that are looking at passing online gambling bills (or expanded bills).
What’s interesting to note is that two of the ten listed include Nevada and NJ, states that have already passed online gambling legislation. Their inclusion on the list is based on the apparent rationale that there is proposed legislation for “expanded” online gambling. If you exclude these two then we are down to eight states.
Hawaii is also on the list. What’s interesting here is that Hawaii is one of two states (Utah the other) that does not permit ANY form of gambling within its borders. Furthermore, the AG of Hawaii just signed on to the letter signed by 16 AG’s against online gambling. It would be a stretch to believe that they would pass any gambling, let alone online gambling legislation in the near future.
So excluding Hawaii we are now down to seven states.
Looking at the rest of the list, California has apparently been looking at online gambling for a few years now and the chances of the tribes, horsemen and other special interest groups agreeing on anything to do with online gambling is remote. Add to this the recent news that one of the sponsors (Senator Roderick Wright) of online gambling legislation has recently been convicted of some criminal charges, makes the likelihood of any legislation passing before 2015/2016 highly suspect.
So now we are down to six states.
The other states apparently looking at online gambling legislation have been “exploring” this for a few years now and in my humble opinion there will nothing happening in those states in the foreseeable future. Furthermore aside from Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, and Illinois, the states apparently looking at legislation are small and inconsequential.
In contrast to this “breaking news”, this week it was reported that now 16 AGs have signed onto a letter to congressional leaders and the House and Senate Judiciary committees asking Congress to keep online gaming illegal
The letter was signed by AGs in Arizona, Florida, Hawaii, Kansas, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Wisconsin and Wyoming, along with Guam.
I suppose that after this news the pro-online gambling spin doctors felt that they should come out with some news to “counter” the AG’s letter but when you scrape the surface this “news” really is no news at all.
As I have said before, IMHO, Adelson will ultimately prevail.