The first of July is a big day for state governments in the USA: it’s the day that bills passed by each state’s General Assembly become state law. This year, several states are passing gambling or casino related laws, bringing both positive and negative changes to American gambling laws.
Casinos in the state of Indiana are now required to seize casino winnings of parents who fail to pay their child support bills. To implement this, casino cages are now requiring gamblers to present photo IDs, and must check the person’s name against a computer database to make sure they aren’t delinquent on child support before they can give out any winnings. The new law is being passed in hopes of collecting some of the $2 billion in overdue child support payments that are owed in Indiana.
A state-wide ban on smoking inside public buildings is going into effect today in the state of Kansas. The law bans smoking inside restaurants, bars, workplaces, and other public areas. Two exceptions have been slipped into the law however. The first is tobacco shops, where customers will still be allowed to light up. The second is state-owned casinos, where gamblers can continue to smoke freely on the floors. Interestingly, the ban will continue to be implemented in the state’s bingo parlors. Perhaps lawmakers are concerned that banning smoking in casinos will drive players to online gambling sites in the USA, depriving the state of revenue.
As of today, no-limit poker games are legal in Florida. This is great news for poker players, because it marks a big change from the previous $100 limit for cash game buy-ins. No-limit poker is now allowed at all 23 poker rooms in the state. The law also allows poker rooms to offer extended opening hours. Previously the limit was 12 hours per day, but now Florida poker rooms can be open 18 hours on weekdays and 24 hours on weekends. Poker room managers are expecting to see an immediate increase in revenue.
The Colorado town of Black Hawk sits in a deep, narrow mountain valley, and is absolutely overflowing with massive casinos. This small gambling town, population 100, decided that bicycles were no longer welcome on their narrow streets, and have officially banned them for “health and safety” reasons. The decision came after casinos put pressure on the local government, complaining that cyclists get in the way of the busses that bring gamblers in from nearby cities like Denver. Anyone found in violation of the new ordinance should be expected to be hit with a hefty $68 fine.
Unfortunately, no new State laws make provisions for Internet gambling in the United States. The UIGEA remains in effect on a national level, trying to curb internet gambling by preventing American banks from helping players transfer funds to and from online gambling accounts.