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It appears Sin City may never be able to catch up to the tiny Chinese territory, which is less than 12 square miles and makes enough money to surpass all gaming revenues in the entire U.S.However, a new ruling by the U.S. Department of Justice that allows individual states to legalize online betting for casino games such as poker, may help propel Sin CityÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s sales and help give a boost to the overall U.S. gambling industry.Ã¢â‚¬Å“The United States Department of Justice has given the online gaming community a big, big present, made public two days before Christmas,Ã¢â‚¬Â gambling expert Nelson Rose wrote last week in his blog Gambling and the Law.In December, though, when the Justice Department ruled that cash-strapped states could allow online gambling as long as it does not involve sports betting, there was a stir in Nevada.Some big industry players, including Caesars Entertainment, which owns four of Atlantic CityÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s casinos and has been a frontrunner for web-based gambling, and Boyd Gaming, which owns half of the Atlantic CityÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Borgata casino and hotel, scrambled to submit proposals to be licensed in Nevada.Nevada and Washington D.C. are expected to have the first state-approved online gambling system up and running later this year, followed by Illinois, New York and New Hampshire, Rose predicts.Meanwhile, New Jersey Senator Raymond Lesniak said on Monday he plans to push a bill allowing online gambling in the state through the Legislature and on Gov. Christ ChristieÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s desk by next week.Ã¢â‚¬Å“Christie understands his state needs the money,Ã¢â‚¬Â Rose said. Ã¢â‚¬Å“Last month, the voters of New Jersey approved sports betting. There is no reason they would not also approve Internet casinos.Ã¢â‚¬ÂRose bets Internet gambling Ã¢â‚¬Å“explodes across the nationÃ¢â‚¬Â with state adoption.Ã¢â‚¬Å“I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t think revenues are going to be huge right off the bat because poker is not a huge source of revenue for casinos, only 1%,Ã¢â‚¬Â said David Schwartz, director of the Center for Gaming Research at the University of Las Vegas. However, it Ã¢â‚¬Å“has got potential to expandÃ¢â‚¬Â as more states legalize online gambling and the interest spreads, he said. That would be big for Las Vegas and U.S. gambling as a whole.For example, if California and Nevada both start licensing online gaming companies, making it legal for people in both those states to play online, the two may be able to drum up some kind of revenue-sharing agreement that allows the nearly 40 million people in California to tap the market in Las Vegas from the comfort of their living room, with both states sharing the profit.Ã¢â‚¬Å“Maybe, nationally, it will be bigger,Ã¢â‚¬Â Schwartz said, who noted that while revenues may not offer Las Vegas a huge boost, it could offer the national gambling industry a jump up through cross sharing. If anything, the structure of the U.S. gambling industry is expected to be altered; big casinos are forecast to get involved and state adoption is expected to draw attention from low-level players.
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