It is no longer a question of if but when online gambling in the U.S. will be legalized. This is the general consensus among industry experts. The question whether each individual state will have to take the initiative or if the federal government will do something on a national basis is still up for debate. In a report in Associated Press, American Gaming Association chief Frank Fahrenkopf Jr. speculated that the much talked about bill being compiled by Republican Sen. Jon Kyl and Senate Democratic Majority Leader Harry Reid is unlikely to pass before the year end.

According to Fahrenkopf the online gambling market is where the future of gaming is at. Presently billions of dollars are being lost to overseas operator’s who are taking away U.S. casino industry revenues. There are varying estimates of the size of the gaming market but they start from $35 billion globally and many believe that this number is conservative. Fahrenkopf believes that it will be a tight squeeze for any online gambling legislation to pass before the elections.

As of now most U.S. online gamers do not have the chance to legally wager on the internet. This situation is being changed ever since the Justice Department reviewed it stance on the Wire Act of 1961. Since then states like Nevada and Delaware have already taken steps to legalize online gambling within their states. In just a matter of weeks online gamblers within these states will be allowed to play online.

Other states like Illinois have already started selling online lottery tickets. States like New Jersey and California are hot on the heels of Nevada and Delaware and it is just a matter of time before they also start offering online gambling within their states.

Fahrenkopf summed up the status of internet gambling in the U.S.,” No matter what Congress does, based on the growth trends … and the actions of the various states, it’s no longer a matter of if online gambling will be legalized in the U.S., but when, where and how.”