The Five Biggest Developments In US Online Gaming During 2017

Steve Ruddock December 13, 2017 1692 Reads
US Online Gaming

2017 could turn out to be a watershed year on the online gaming front in the United States. Here are US Poker‘s choices for the five biggest developments of 2017.

#5: Two more states legalize online lottery

2017 saw two more states take the plunge and legalize online lottery sales:

  1. New Hampshire (legalized online lottery in July)
  2. Pennsylvania (legalized online lottery as part of an omnibus gaming reform bill)

The number of states that have authorized online lottery sales now stands at six:

  1. Illinois
  2. Michigan
  3. Georgia
  4. Kentucky

And when Pennsylvania and New Hampshire go live, some 60 million US residents (almost a fifth of the total population) will have access to online lottery.

#4: DFS continues to produce legislative wins

Standing in sharp contrast to the slow slog of online poker legislation, daily fantasy sports has been chalking up legislative win after legislative win over the past two years.

With a couple weeks left, in the year, eight states have already passed DFS legislation. That number could rise to nine very soon after the Ohio legislature passed a DFS bill the state is just a Governor John Kasich signature away from joining 18 other states with legal DFS contests.

  1. Arkansas
  2. Connecticut (pending tribal approval)
  3. Colorado
  4. Delaware
  5. Indiana
  6. Kansas
  7. Maine
  8. Maryland
  9. Massachusetts
  10. Mississippi
  11. Missouri
  12. New Hampshire
  13. New Jersey
  14. New York
  15. Pennsylvania
  16. Tennessee
  17. Vermont
  18. Virginia

#3: New Jersey signs interstate agreement with Nevada and Delaware

October surprises are usually bad news, but that wasn’t the case this year. On October 13, New Jersey announced it had reached a liquidity sharing agreement with Nevada and Delaware that will, among other things, allow the three states to pool online poker players.

“New Jersey has been a pioneer in the development of authorized, regulated online gaming, which has been a budding success since its launch in late 2013,” New Jersey Governor Chris Christie said in a press release. “Pooling players with Nevada and Delaware will enhance annual revenue growth, attract new consumers, and create opportunities for players and Internet gaming operators.

“This agreement marks the beginning of a new and exciting chapter for online gaming, and we look forward to working with our partners in Nevada and Delaware in this endeavor.”

The agreement is signed, but player pooling is still a work in progress, with no real timeline for implementation.

US Poker has reported extensively on what the interstate agreement means for online poker players in the three states (here and here) and what would happen if Pennsylvania decides to jump into the mix down the road.

In addition to teaming up with Delaware and Nevada (and likely Pennsylvania down the road) New Jersey is also positioning itself to enter into international agreements.

There’s still a lot of wrinkles to iron out before that becomes a reality, but if it does come to pass it would be one of the biggest stories of 2018.

#2: Five states primed to offer legal sports betting

After listening to oral arguments in early December, the Supreme Court of the United States is in the process of making a decision on New Jersey’s sports betting case, Christie vs. NCAA. The ruling will likely shape the future of sports betting across the United States.

New Jersey is a betting favorite to win (see the unscientific “for-entertainment-purposes-only” betting line in the tweet below) and several other states are already lining up to offer sports betting should the outcome of the New Jersey sports betting case allow it.

In addition to New Jersey, four states have already passed legislation that would authorize legal sports betting to some extent.

Those four states are:

  1. Pennsylvania
  2. Mississippi
  3. New York
  4. Connecticut

#1: Pennsylvania legalizes online gambling

The feather in 2017’s hat was the legalization of online gaming in Pennsylvania.

This is important for two reasons.

First, Pennsylvania is the most populous state to take the plunge into online gambling – the population of Pennsylvania is the same as New Jersey, Delaware, and Nevada combined.

Perhaps even more importantly, Pennsylvania curtailed a growing pessimism about online poker legalization efforts. Following previously failed attempts in Pennsylvania, California, and New York the community had been growing quite cynical, and really needed a win.

They got that win in October when the Keystone State became the first state to legalize online casino and poker since 2013, ending one of the most frustrating four-year periods for online poker players and online gaming advocates.

As such, Pennsylvania has reignited optimism that other states will follow suit in the coming years.