American Lottery Companies Prepare for Expanded Online Gambling Market
June 4, 2010 (CAP News Wire) – There’s been a lot written recently about how European-based online gambling operators like PartyGaming and bwin are anticipating a return to the U.S. market if (when?) legislation to regulate online gambling and make it fully legal is implemented.
Recently, the CAP News page explored the fact that many U.S.-based online gaming companies, such as CyberArts, also stand to benefit significantly from new U.S. online gambling laws that would enable American software companies to develop online casino games.
Recently, EGR Magazine explored another angle to this story, looking at the many U.S. online lottery operators who also may be preparing to create online casino games if the U.S. government — or state governments — allow them to do so.
“[A] number of state lotteries are stealthily charting a course to becoming the primary operators of intrastate gaming in their respective states, with the major lottery providers in the US – GTech, Scientific Games and Intralot – standing by with the platforms and products via their interactive arms to help them achieve this,” writes Stephen Carter at EGRmagazine.com.
“While selling products, lottery or otherwise, via the internet still remains virgin territory for most US state lotteries, a number plan to offer lottery products and casual/skill games online by the end of 2010.”
Carter explains that government-sanctioned lottery companies in New York and the District of Columbia are already looking at creating poker and casino games “as soon as regulation allows.” Meanwhile, the Illinois state lottery is seeking regulatory approval to offer its lottery gaming on the Internet.
Atul Bali, the President of GTech’s egaming division, GTech G2, told EGR that it’s currently developing PEP skill games for the California lottery, to have them ready to launch when regulations are approved. Some of these games are currently online in a non-money, “play for fun” format to ensure they’re ready when needed.
Chalk this up as one more economic incentive for lawmakers to legalize Internet gambling in the U.S. Most of the talk until now has been about taxing players, but a big part of the financial picture will be the possible boom created by a new online gaming industry, which is currently dominated by offshore companies.