Pennsylvania lawmakers are inching towards passing online poker and casino legislation. Now, a new trade association has popped up telling them what a good idea it can be.
iDEA: The iDevelopment and Economic Association
According to a study sponsored by the newly formed iDevelopment and Economic Association, otherwise known as iDEA, the NJ legal online gambling industry is generating tax revenue and adding jobs. Plus, the study says the industry is spurring technological innovation as well.
Moreover, there’s little evidence of the negative impacts naysayers once anticipated.
iDEA is a 20-member advocacy group aimed at helping interested states get over the hump in passing online gambling legislation. Hence, the group’s stated mandate is to grow jobs and expand online interactive entertainment business in the United States through advocacy and education.
Its members range from online gaming operators and land-based casinos to payment processors and media companies.
Its membership includes:
- Catena Media
- Continent8 Technologies
- Golden Nugget
- GVC Holdings
- Ifrah Law
- Pala Interactive
- Resorts Casino-Hotel
- Sightline Payments
- Tropicana Entertainment
- Vantiv Gaming Solutions
A study of online gambling in New Jersey
Alan Meister, Ph.D. of Nathan Associates and Gene Johnson of Victor Strategies put together a study at the behest of iDEA. Most noteworthy, it analyzed financial and sociological data since the legal and regulated online gambling market opened in New Jersey in 2013.
The study is entitled Economic Impact of New Jersey Online Gaming: Lessons Learned.
The research showed the New Jersey online gambling market has generated:
- $998.3 million in revenue
- 3,374 jobs
- $218.9 million in wages to employees
- $124.4 million in tax revenue to state and local governments (including $83.5 million in iGaming taxes)
Plus, it suggested all those benefits could be replicated in other regions, including Pennsylvania.
“New Jersey’s experience provides valuable lessons for other US states considering iGaming legalization,” gaming attorney and iDEA founding member Jeff Ifrah said in a press release. “The state’s operating environment and regulatory structure provides a portable model which can be implemented by other jurisdictions. Thus, bringing much-needed jobs and tax revenue.”
The study debunked online gambling opponents’ concerns. In fact, researchers found no major online cheating incidents or player fraud. Additionally, cyber crimes related to online gambling have apparently been extremely rare.
Online poker and gambling legislation in PA
A bill that would legalize PA online poker and PA online casinos is currently in the hands of the Pennsylvania Senate. The bill will also expand land-based gambling in a handful of ways, and would include the regulation of daily fantasy sports.
The PA Senate passed the bill at the end of May. However, at the beginning of this month, the House of Representatives made a number of amendments. The House then passed the bill, sending it back to the Senate for approval. The Senate is expected to act on the legislation before the end of the month.
More information on the legal and regulated online gaming industry can be found on the iDEA website. Plus, it includes further examination of the new study.