Online gambling has become a huge industry in the United States, allowing millions of Americans to enjoy their favorite casino games without leaving their home. The industry is expected to grow at a fast pace, and it’s only a matter of time before more states join the fun. As of this writing, there are eight states and one district that allow gambling via the internet. But while many state officials have expressed concern that online gambling could be used to expand illegal gambling, some states are actually using it to their advantage.
One of the first states to legalize Internet gaming was Ohio. In 2009, voters approved a plan that would establish a single casino in each of the four largest cities. The state also passed an amendment to its casino and tax distribution laws to permit slot machine-like video lottery terminals to be installed at seven racetracks.
Several months later, the Ohio Casino Control Commission began licensing businesses for operation. At the time of this article’s publication, the agency had received applications for more than 1,300 businesses to operate as betting kiosks. It encouraged the applicants to apply for a license in the early part of the year so they could be in operation by the time the universal start date arrives.
Illinois has yet to see a legal online casino, but they do have an online sportsbook app. However, there are no casinos on the ground. Instead, the state’s two tribes have agreements with three of the bigger names in the industry: FanDuel, DraftKings, and the Mohegan Tribe. They each have a stake in the success of the new online gambling industry, though the state hasn’t ratcheted up its enforcement of state law to match.
For example, the state’s new law on sports wagering has garnered a lot of attention. This prompted some of the best and the brightest in the industry to start partnering with one another. A few retail and online sportsbooks have announced partnerships, while the state’s Gaming Commission continues to maintain its discretion on which live betting options will be available.
The Ohio Gaming Commission has been working on its regulatory framework, and it encourages businesses to apply to be part of its online sports betting kiosk program. The Ohio Casino Approval and Tax Distribution Amendment, which was signed into law by Governor Mike DeWine in late December, was the state’s first step toward introducing more robust online gaming options.
The Ohio Gaming Commission has also been busy securing a robust data security infrastructure. Some of the most important features include encryption, remote access to bets, and age verification. While some of the most advanced systems are still in the prototype stage, it’s not too hard to imagine an industry dominated by secure servers, tokenized wallets, and other forms of authentication.
Overall, the state has come a long way in the past few years. Now that it’s been legalized, it’s only a matter of time until Ohio launches its own online gaming industry.