Gambling in the USA
Gambling in the USA is legal and one of the most important resources of the state budget. About two decades ago, gambling was legal in only two states of the country. Casinos and gambling clubs in the other 48 states were strictly prohibited. Now the situation has changed globally. The situation has not been reversed in that the gambling iundustry now legal in 48 states and is only prohibited in two: Utah and Hawaii. The United States has several hundred land-based and 'floating' casinos and numerous arcade halls.
Gambling Games in the USA
The development of the online gambling industry in the country is more complicated. Despite the huge popularity of online casinos and bookmakers, their activity in the US is prohibited by law. Electronic financial payments for transactions with gambling portals were banned in September 2006. And the law banning online gambling came into force in October. In 2012, the situation changed somewhat. The government has adopted a new law that allows legalising the activities of online casinos, poker rooms and bookmakers in the territory of certain states. However, only Nevada, New Jersey and Delaware have taken advantage of these new opportunities. Even professional experts do not attempt to predict how the situation will develop in the future.
Regulation of gambling in the USA is in the competence of local authorities. According to Chapter 15 of the US Code, the state defines the list of allowed gambling games, the specifics of their organization, establishes age, financial and other restrictions. The federal authorities have only issued a few legislative acts, the provisions of which are aimed at regulating gambling:
- Transportation of Gambling Devices Act of 1951
- Wire Act (on the regulation of betting), 1961
- Illegal Gambling Business Act, 1970
- The Act that defines punishment for fraudsters and cheaters, 1987
- Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, 1988
- Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, 1992
- Racing Act, 2000
Gambling in the US is only completely legal in Nevada and New Jersey. All kinds of land-based gambling is allowed there. Other states have certain restrictions. However, the owners of the gambling business have learned to use law peculiarities in their favour. For example, the laws of Illinois, Iowa, Missouri and Louisiana prohibit participating in gambling on their territories. Operators offer players the opportunity to visit "floating" casinos. Gambling clubs are organized on cruise liners and barges. This formally complies with legislative norms. At the same time, most Americans positively respond to gambling. The results of opinion polls show that eight out of ten US citizens think it is right to completely legalise the gambling business.
Gambling industry in Nevada
The state of Nevada has the status of the largest gaming centre in the US. Here the world-famous cities of Las Vegas, Reno and Carson City are located. Over 2,000 casinos operate in this state. In total, visitors can use more than 6,000 tables and about 200,000 slot machines. About 50 million tourists visit casinos in Las Vegas, Reno and Carson City every year. In Nevada, all kinds of gambling is allowed. However, the gambling industry is strictly regulated. To organise business, it is necessary to obtain a license and observe numerous requirements to casinos. In particular, gambling institutions can be opened exclusively in the territory of a specially allocated district. Casinos and gambling halls are not allowed to be near hospitals, churches, schools or sports grounds. There are certain requirements for the area of institutions and their equipment. The implementation of gambling business activities is only possible on the basis of licenses issued by the official regulator.
Gambling regulators of Nevada
Gambling industry in Nevada is regulated by two government departments working in close cooperation, Nevada Gaming Commission (NGC) is a government agency operating in the state. The main tasks of the department are:
- Processing applications for obtaining a license
- Issuing licenses
- Developing rules and regulations governing the activities of casinos
- Applying sanctions against institutions that have violated existing requirements In addition to disciplinary penalties and fines, the Commission may revoke the license
The Nevada Gaming Control Board (NGCB) is a body that monitors casino activities. Duties of the department include:
- Processing financial and personnel issues
- Verifying the reliability of information submitted by applicants for a license
- Providing information and technical support
- Controlling the fulfilment of financial obligations by operators auditioning, gathering fees and taxes
- Investigating possible irregularities in casino operation, as well as detection of illegal activities
- Checking of technical and game equipment
- Testing of gaming devices
Both departments perform their duties with the maximum responsibility. There are several cases where the refusal to obtain a license was given to a well-known and influential person.
Today the US has 3 types of licenses that give the right to conduct a gambling business:
- Limited license. It allows opening slot machine halls. No more than fifteen slots can be installed in a hall. The document does not allow providing other games including popular table games. Traditionally, such licenses are issued to owners of small entertainment centres, bars and restaurants.
- unlimited. It is divided into two types. N/R slots only allows opening halls with an unlimited number of slot machines but does not allow installing tables. N/R games & slots allows operators to use any number of slot machines and table games.
- Special. It is given to operators for placing slot machines in institutions owned by third parties. The lease terms and other aspects of the use of premises are discussed directly between the parties to the transaction.
In addition to the license for gambling activities, operators are required to prepare similar documents for each employee of the company. Producing and supplying gaming equipment is licensed separately.
Gambling industry in New Jersey
The second largest gambling centre in the United States is the State of New Jersey. Here, all kinds of land-based gambling are legal. Gambling business in the state territory was allowed on the initiative of local residents and on the basis of a local referendum. The first casino in New Jersey was opened in 1978. Today there are 12 gambling institutions in the state. The gambling industry in New Jersey is also strictly regulated by law and is closely monitored by specialised agencies.
Gambling regulators of New Jersey
As in Nevada, gambling business of New Jersey is monitored by two regulators: New Jersey Casino Control Commission (NJCCC) is a state government agency. It has numerous powers in most segments of the gambling industry. The structure of the agency includes five specialised divisions: license department, appellate department, tax department, law and administrative departments and The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (NJDGE) is a special unit of the State Department of Justice. The main task of the department is to monitor compliance with the current gambling legislation.
Developerment of the Gambling market in the USA
Despite the existing restrictions on online gambling, there is no prohibition with the development of software for Internet casinos. Some of the most famous companies specialising in the production of slot machines for land-based casinos and online portals came from the USA:
- International Game Technology (IGT) - a company whose headquarters are in Nevada, Las Vegas and Reno. Created as a small firm engaged in the computerisation of land-based casinos, today it has become a huge corporation. In 2005 IGT was granted the status of an international company. The manufacturer creates a variety of software for online portals and land-based casinos. The developer's collection includes several hundred models of slot machines, roulette, card games, lotteries and scratch cards. More than 50% of video slots installed in US casinos are produced by IGT.
- WMS Gaming - a company established in 1943. The first development of the operator was a pinball machine released in the forties. Today the manufacturer creates innovative slot machines and terminals for casinos. The list of games includes more than a hundred titles. In addition, the developer is engaged in the production of platforms for casinos and is the creator of the social network Player's Life.
- Genesis Gaming - a company specialising in online gambling. It positions itself as a third-party manufacturer of video slots for companies creating software for Internet platforms. Today the manufacturer has the reputation of one of the best developers of original models. Slots of the company are available in most large casinos and are often represented under the brands of other better-known manufacturers. There are also one-armed bandits located on portals under the manufacturer's own name. Genesis's portfolio includes about a hundred slot machines.
In addition, the US has less-known companies that develop slots and support online casinos: custom game design, slot construction, Chilco River Holdings and others. The USA is a country that has a reputation as the "capital of the gambling world". Here the number of casinos and poker clubs increases every year. The tourist flow is growing. Сareful monitoring of the gambling business means order is maintained and the negative consequences of gambling are avoided. It is quite problematic to forecast alternatives to the development of online gambling. The current legislation has opened prospects for the development of gambling on the Internet. But the actual implementation of its provisions is rather slow and faces numerous obstacles from the authorities.