U.S. Amusement Industry Talks Online Gambling

Published Wednesday, September 30, 2009 - Online-Casinos.com

The Amusement and Music Operators Association in America has been vocal of late with concerns that the possibility of legal online gambling in the next couple of years in the States could impact their businesses. Some members believe that if VLTs are permitted the profit would help the amusement and games industry. But if the prohibition on online gambling is lifted in the States their businesses will suffer.

The U.S. amusements industry has always had a complicated relationship with gambling. "We are not about gambling; we are about innocent fun," the industry has proclaimed for many years. With some headway, today, 40 states have casinos and operators in South Dakota and Montana have enjoyed legal video poker for more than 20 years. Today those are the only two states in America whose governments don't face budget deficits. Lawmakers are taking heed with 14 other states planning to expand legalized gambling next year, in one form or another.

A gambling dilemma confronts the amusements industry, and when today's illegal online gambling market is suddenly legalized will the amusement industry be ready. Full-blown casino-style gambling is already legal on the Internet in Europe and much of the rest of the world. By some estimates, more than 2,000 online casinos are operating worldwide today.

Millions of Americans are currently going to considerable trouble to get around the barriers imposed by their government in order to enjoy online gambling.

State and possibly the federal government will realize that, number one; bans are impossible to enforce, two; it's not wise to allow extensive gambling on land but not online and most of all they need the multibillion-dollar tax windfalls that will result.

Industry leaders should make a detailed study of how Europe's amusement industry is living with, or failing to compete with, online gambling. Amusement manufacturers and operators should start re-thinking technologies and start state-by-state lobbying campaigns that will make it possible for the industry to provide newly legalized online gambling to adult players in taverns, restaurants, bowling lounges and other traditional 18-and-up locations. Legal online gambling in the USA is coming, when, no one knows for sure, but amusement industry leaders are bracing for the results and hope that the coins that now go into their machines and the dollars spent at the various other forms of entertainment are not all going to go to offshore companies with nothing left for them.

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