A bill to license and regulate online gambling in the United States received a 41-22-1 vote of approval by the Financial Services committee on Wednesday of this week.
This decision was largely influenced by Republican John Campbell and Democrat Brad Sherman who have both played a significant role in amending the bill and ensuring its passage.
According to the amendment authored by Campell, all online gambling facilities targeting United States would require licenses. The amendment also call for additional protections for players by requiring the game odds for each casino game to be posted visibly, and loss limits to be imposed in addition to age and location verification.
Sherman’s further amendments ensure that gambling companies requiring licenses would have to hold a majority of their business in the U.S, furthermore, managers and owners of online gambling companies who had deliberately evaded or violated U.S. law regarding online gambling will not be able to obtain licenses.
This bill however does have a few processes to clear before it becomes law. Firstly, the full House needs to vote on it which seems unlikely before the House’s August break on the 9th of August 2010 begins. This mean that the bill will have to pass a full floor vote between September 7th and October 8th 2010 before the November Congress sessions. So in order for a vote to even occur the Democratic leadership in the House, led by Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), will need to schedule it.
Should the House pass the bill, it will then be moved up to the Senate and if it is passed by the Senate it will need to be signed by President Obama. If all of this does not happen before this year’s legislative session, the process will have to begin from scratch in 2011 when the composition of both the House and Senate will be different.
So while this is a very positive step for US casino players, it is a tentative one that is not being celebrated too widely just yet.
If I could design a casino game…
Just the thought of ever doing that makes any gambling enthusiast’s mind race and pulse quicken at the prospect. Now image running at a casino for years but having no control over the games you are able to offer and the prospect of having the design option is even more exciting. And while it may seem like a pipe dream, that prospect may soon become a reality for casino staff and any budding entrepeneur who wishes to give it a go if Meta Games Universal has anything to do with it.
While most brick and mortar and online casinos are dependant on software companies and game manufacturers for the design and production fo their game offerings, Mega Game Universal is proposing a “Create your own casino game” program and has alreday launched a platform in beta version and promises casino providers and operators the opportunity to create professional casino games without the need for experienced programming staff.
The UK based company does admit that the product may be controversial given that it would cut out mainstream software giants like Microgaming, RTG, Cryptologic and Playtech, but the benefits would be endless, for example lower licensing fees which would mean bigger profits for casinos, some of which would probably be spent on retaining players (more bonuses anyone?). Not to mention the fact that each casino would have a unique portfolio of games, giving it a unique selling point which just isn’t present within the generic portfolio of games offered to casinos by the various providers. And even when software providers or casinos have deals with other brands like Marvel or DC comics, not only are the themes similar but the game carry additional licensing expenses.
Full copyrights and protection are still pending however a company spokesperson recently stated that this kind of package would give users everything they’d need to produce their own games and the various tools and applications would be available for download from a website. The option to re-brand individually produced games will also be available which is another plus for casinos.
If all goes as it should, Cargo F, (Meta Game Universal will be known for the programming option) will revolutionise the casino industry as we know and will probably lead to more player benefits than ever before…so watch this space!