This encouraging news has led to some shares of gaming companies to rise in a a big way. Wynn Resorts (WYNN) rose 3.4%, MGM International (MGM) up by 4.5% and Boyd Gaming(BYD) rose a dramatic 10%.
All this positive change is due to the DOJ reversing its previous position regarding Internet gambling. They now claim that the sale of online lottery tickets within a state does not violate the Wire Act of 1960 which up to now was one of the main stumbling blocks to online gambling.
Todd Ellers, a senior analyst at Roth Capital Research predicts that the online casino operators and equipment makers will be gaining from the new opinion: “We view the ruling as a significant event for the U.S. gaming and lottery industry that essentially opens the door for states to consider offering internet gaming and lottery products (ex sports wagering)…[W]e believe individual state lotteries and vendors like Scientific Games, Gtech, and Intralot will be the first to benefit from selling virtual lottery tickets online. In addition, casino operators w/ strong brands (i.e. Caesars, MGM, Las Vegas Sands (LVS), & Wynn) would also benefit from operating virtual casinos if authorized by enough states. “
There has been some opposition to the new ruling but overall the reactions have been positive to the new ruling. Massachusetts and California are two examples of states who reacted positively and are looking to capitalize on the new ruling.
Massachusetts State Treasurer Steven Grossman will explore the State’s online options via a dedicated online gambling task force and the Illinois Lottery will waste no time planning on selling tickets over the internet by the end of March 2012.
California has announced its intention of exploring an online lottery but would not consider online poker for the moment.
The latest developments coming out of the U.S. make it almost inevitable that online gambling will be accessible to all. Online scratch card players will be able to scratch their scratchies online. I see a day coming very soon when we will look back in amusement on the days when online poker players could not gamble from the U.S.