Could National Council of Legislators from Gaming States Conference Help Online Poker?

January 6th, 2017 | by Brian Corlisse
National Council of Legislators from Gaming States.

Lawmakers to learn more about US gambling at National Council of Legislators from Gaming States conference. (Image: Twitter/@LawMDF)

Taking place between January 6th and January 8th, the annual meeting of lawmakers and state representatives will be a chance for industry experts to educate those in power.

As outlined by FloridaPolitics.com, one of the main topics up for discussion is the growth of the US gambling industry with or without direction from lawmakers.

Eight representatives from Florida have been invited to the event and that could play a part in the state’s gambling laws in 2017.

Lawmakers Set to Learn a Thing or Two

As it stands, casinos in Florida are limited to Indian reservations, but since 2001 poker players have been able to play at both tribal and pari-mutuel (racetracks) venues.

But, despite a relatively recent move to allow more live poker games, online poker is specifically outlawed. According to the state, anyone found operating an online poker site within the state will be breaking that law (separate to any federal restrictions created by UIGEA).

Although the issue of regulation has been floated in recent years, nothing of substance has developed. But, with various speakers addressing the issue of online gaming at the latest conference, that could change.

With the NCLGS committees on State-Federal Relations, Responsible Gaming and Lotteries all set to talk about the industry, lawmakers from across the US could potentially be persuaded to back iGaming.

Of course, a few presentations inside Scottsdale’s Hotel Valley Ho won’t suddenly make everyone throw their support behind online gaming, but it could certainly help.

Online Influence Could Convert Naysayers

Among the list of event sponsors is Boyd Gaming. With interests in both the live and online betting world (it’s a partner of bwin.party in New Jersey), Boyd will no doubt be championing the industry.

In fact, William Noonan, Sr. Vice President, Industry & Governmental Affairs at Boyd, will be on the panel discussing expansion opportunities in the gambling industry.

As major betting operators look to increase their revenue, online gaming has naturally become a target. Instead of spending hundreds of millions of dollars constructing of a live venue, established brands can now set-up an online site that not only enhances their presence, but brings in a new demographic of players.

Unfortunately, with only three states currently offering a licensing system for online operators, chances of expansion are limited. But, if lawmakers can take some positives from the latest NCLGS conference, this dynamic could slowly start to change.

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