Market Overview

New Legal Wars: How A Few Proposed Bills Can Shape The Gambling Industry In 2018 And Beyond

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Society and business are becoming more relaxed on past taboos, and it looks like gambling is center stage for the next wave of legislation.

The same way that cannabis becoming legalized recreationally and medically all over the country is creating the prospect of a $7 billion industry with immeasurable growth potential, gambling too has tremendous upside, with only current laws standing in the way. A few states are leading the charge to pave the way for this industry.

Florida is currently holding its annual session, and gambling is on the docket. This week, legislators will hear a bill that would increase gambling legality if passed. Currently, limited betting and gambling are only allowed in Native American casinos. The bill that legislators will hear will expand these laws to protect fantasy football betting, and allow for roulette and craps at the Seminole Tribe casinos. Both the House and Senate will need to come to some sort of consensus on this bill by the beginning of March.

Virginia legislators are also making a push for increased gambling. Colonial Downs was a racetrack in the Richmond area that used to hold horse races. The House proposes to renovate the now-defunct racetrack and turn it into a slot machine casino. It’s predicted that this slot machine casino could bring in $350 million per year in revenue, to include $42 million in taxes collected.

Since gambling has always had a stigma, it’ll take these sorts of large steps from states to begin setting precedent. As recently as 2016, Disney pulled its Star Wars themed slot machines from Las Vegas casinos in order to preserve its family-friendly image.

Regardless of the timetable it’ll take for these legal issues to play out, it would appear that cryptocurrency will also be on the front lines of these changes. Experts predict that in as little as a year from now, most gambling transactions will allow for Bitcoin, and casinos will dish out bigger bonuses for those using the cryptocurrency.

Major companies also have large stakes in these legal precedents—particularly sports leagues. The NBA is hoping to capitalize on this issues at the ground floor, suggesting a 1% “integrity fee” for all NBA-related bets to New York legislators looking for input on a legalization plan.

These issues will take center stage on an increasing scale in the coming months, as the legal ramifications play out.

The preceding article is from one of our external contributors. It does not represent the opinion of Benzinga and has not been edited.

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