Internet casinos have done much more than generate profits and allow people to gamble from the comfort of their own homes.
After a closer look to New Jersey’s online gambling industry, local experts have started to notice surprising changes in the way the Internet works. The observation comes from the leader of a company providing payment processing and player verification services to online casinos in New Jersey, called Central Account Management System (CAMS).
Its role is to connect firms operating internet gambling sites in the US with third-party companies which verify the identity and location of all users and allow players to deposit and withdraw funds; so the man knows what he’s talking about.
“This industry is forcing a massive change in how the Internet works,” CAMS founder and CEO Matthew Katz told reporters, in a recent interview with the American media.
The Internet and its new borders
US states considering legalizing online casinos include:
• New York
When the creators of the Internet came up with the idea, the whole point was to provide a service accessible by anyone, anywhere. But all this is changing in America, Katz said, as states allowing online gambling require that players be at least 21 and located within state borders.
Of course, things would be different if American gambling laws legalized virtual casinos across all of the USA, but for now it’s up to each state to decide on the matter.
The Internet used to be a place with no borders and limitations. But Katz says this requirement to provide such player information is making the Web turn into a network that independently verifies the identity and location of Internet users. In other words, players can say goodbye to the anonymity they’ve gotten used to.
“The whole concept of the Internet, when it was created, is it’s everywhere. Now, we have an industry coming into play where borders are critically important for making sure the operators adhere to state law,” said the expert.
“That’s a significant change in the Internet – from anonymity to full transparency, from no validation to a true validation that’s applicable under state law.”
Legal online poker – “a matter of time”
In Katz’s opinion, these new requirements for online gambling will serve as a test for future Internet taxation; still, when it comes to legalizing virtual casinos, in most cases it’s a matter of when, rather than if, he added.
In a few years, online poker is coming to Pennsylvania, industry experts say. John Pappas, executive director of Poker Players Alliance, told reporters: “It’s a matter of time before Pennsylvania goes down this path.”
“There is near consensus among the (state’s) brick-and-mortar gaming industry that the Internet is something they want to get into.”
Sue Schneider, one of the founders of the Interactive Gaming Council, agrees that Pennsylvania is an attractive market for online poker sites in the US. However, drafting and approving regulations for an entirely new industry can take years.
State senator Edwin Erickson recently introduced a bill to regulate internet poker, but added that local authorities should take their time and work slowly, until they can ensure that the traditional casino industry is protected from a negative impact.
Internet gambling in the US to expand?
But how certain is the future of online casinos in the US? Some believe Sheldon Adelson and his Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling have enough power and influence to convince politicians to ban online casinos across America.
For now, only Delaware and New Jersey offer all online casino games, while Nevada only legalized internet poker. Lottery players in Georgia and Illinois can buy their tickets online and several other states are considering legalizing internet casino games.
Pappas calls Pennsylvania “the next emerging market” for online poker, adding that it could become “the crown jewel of the East Coast.” With a population of 12.8 million, the state does have the potential to become a great partner for intrastate gambling.