A new online gambling industry trade group made itself known this week, with an aim to work toward helping internet gaming become legalized and regulated throughout the United States. iDEA (iDevelopment and Economic Association – which is a hell of a way to force a name into a handy acronym) represents stakeholders from many different areas of online gaming, including operators, casinos, and payment processors.
iDEA says that it “is an association seeking to grow jobs and expand online interactive entertainment business in the United States through advocacy and education.”
“Interactive online entertainment is a multi-billion dollar global industry providing customers with dozens of secure and regulated gaming options ranging from casinos with online betting operations, online poker, social and mobile games, sweepstakes, and lotteries,” the group’s website explains.
“The majority of businesses in this sector operate outside the United States due to legislative and regulatory barriers. Popular support is growing rapidly in the U.S. for expansion of online interactive entertainment.”
The members listed on the iDEA website are (in the order they are listed):
Amaya (owner of PokerStars)
GVC Holdings (owner of partypoker)
Vantiv Gaming Solutions
On its website, iDEA touts the economic benefits of online gaming (or iGaming, as iDEA calls it*).
“As described in the recent report ‘The Economic Impact of New Jersey Internet Gaming,’ (link) over 3,000 new jobs were created during the first three years of iGaming in New Jersey, accounting for nearly $250 million in wages,” iDEA says. “In 2016 iGaming generated nearly $50 million in state tax revenues. iGaming is also growing revenues for land-based casinos.”
The site includes links to both the full report and executive summary of an economic impact study of New Jersey online gambling.
As one might expect, iDEA also discusses the non-monetary success of online gambling in New Jersey:
New Jersey iGaming is also considered a success from a regulatory perspective, with some of the strictest iGaming regulation protocols in the world. The state’s rigorous standards have successfully addressed the valid concerns voiced by opponents and skeptics of iGaming, and proven that legal intrastate iGaming can be successfully operated and safely regulated. These regulations have guaranteed that internet games meet regulatory standards and its operators are accountable; they assure players that they are interacting with trusted brands, are protected from fraud and cheating, and will receive payouts when they win.
iDEA’s support won’t be limited to just online poker and casino games. It will also include internet bingo, sports betting, and lottery sales.
*Am I the only one who cringes at the term “iGaming?” I feel like adding “i” before a word is so early last decade. Maybe I’m just biased because I used to work for a terrible small company whose owner decided to stack the company’s name with not one, but TWO fad letters. He put an “i” at the beginning of a word and then tacked an “x” at the end of it! We’re Internet! And we’re eXtreme! Oh, this was a consulting firm.