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Legal Online Gambling = Money on the Table?

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By Deanne Katz, Esq. on August 02, 2012 6:43 AM

As more states legalize online gambling, game developers are considering the opportunity to reach a new market.

Brick-and-mortar casinos aren't going anywhere anytime soon, but states are starting to realize the potential of online gambling as a source of revenue. Nevada, Washington D.C., and Delaware already allow people within the state to gamble online and other states are considering loosening laws around online betting to bring in business.

Some critics initially dismissed the plans for online gambling as small potatoes in terms of revenue. Projected incomes from legalizing online poker were small compared to massive state deficits.

But poker is only the tip of iceberg for online gambling potential.

Video game developers are already considering moving into the online gambling field including, according to Business Week.

Famous Casinos are also cashing in on the web trend by making an internet counterpart to their casinos to attract new customers and keep existing ones coming back in the virtual space.

The potential for online gambling means more customers both for the online venues and the traditional casinos. It provides more ways for customers to play and more variety in the available games.

Even if your industry isn't gambling, the model of moving a traditionally physical activity to the internet is often a good idea. It can bring in new customers and generate a new stream of revenue without having to break into a new market.

But then there are the legal requirements. Most of these companies won't be moving forward without checking with a lawyer first.

Online gambling isn't a matter of setting up a website and waiting for customers to click-through. Even in states where it's legal, companies that offer online gambling must first get a license. Gambling online will still be subject to tax just like face-to-face gambling. Companies will also have to deal with withholding winnings and reporting to the IRS not only for business revenue but also for gambling taxes.

Still, game developers aren't deterred by the legal logistics around online gambling. Casinos and game companies already have plans to roll out online gambling games as soon states will let them.

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