The online gambling industry has gone through tumultuous times over the years but in 2017, the global online gambling industry experienced more highs than lows, which made for a good year. We take a look at some of the main highs the online gambling industry experienced in 2017 and focus on the biggest setback online gambling faced last year.
Pennsylvania Legalizes Online Gambling In 2017
Pennsylvania became the fourth state that legalized online gambling on October 30, 2017 joining the likes of with New Jersey, Nevada, and Delaware. This was great news for the online gambling community as Pennsylvania became the first state in the last five years to legalize online gambling in America. The online gambling industry is expected to go live in 2018 and is expected to generate a steady stream of income for the state in the form of gambling taxes.
There are close to 10 states in America that are also discussing the possibility of legalizing online gambling and Pennsylvania’s approval to online gambling will encourage them to move forward in a positive manner in 2018.
Golden Liquidity For Three U.S. States
New Jersey’s online gaming industry had a great 2017 and is expected to get a boost in 2018 as New Jersey has finally entered into shared poker liquidity agreement with Nevada and Delaware. Chris Christie, the Governor of New Jersey signed a bill in October that facilitated poker liquidity between the garden state, Nevada and Delaware. This will serve as a much-needed boost for the U.S. poker market that’s heavily regulated.  New Jersey has a population of over 9 million and will help boost the online gaming markets of Nevada and Delaware.
The potential player pool of the American poker market is now equivalent to a small European country like Belgium. While both Nevada and Delaware has had shared liquidity for more than two years, the addition of New Jersey into the mix will set a crucial precedent for future states who wish to pass Internet gaming laws similar to the one New Jersey just promulgated. The whole year of 2017 has been surprisingly progressive when it comes to online gambling, especially when for USA and Europe.
Australia Disappoints Online Poker Players
Although Pennsylvania took a step forward when it comes to online gaming in 2017, Australia decided to go the other way and banned online poker in 2017. Australia banned all forms of online gambling except for sports betting. The ban on online poker is almost accidental in nature. The Interactive Gambling Amendment Bill of Australia did not intend to target the online casino and poker industry but the way it was worded, meant that online poker operators had to shut down operations and move out of the country.
The bill was intended to keep unlicensed sports betting operators from victimizing Australians. However, because the country only licenses sports betting and not casino and poker gaming, the bill inadvertently banned most online gaming operators licensed in other jurisdictions as well. Australian online gamblers will ironically now have to have to take their chances with illegal operators and put themselves at risk. There is an on-going campaign that is fighting for an exception to be made and for online poker to be legalized once again.
European Shared Poker Liquidity
Online poker players in Italy, France, Portugal and Spain were thrilled when they discovered that gaming regulators from these four countries signed an agreement that would allow shared online poker liquidity. The online poker markets in these four countries had suffered during the last few years due to stringent online gambling regulations, poor online poker traffic, lack of competition and low prize money.
The shared poker liquidity between the four countries is expected to come into play in 2018. The agreement is expected to boost the online poker markets in these four countries and help online poker operators offer exciting tournaments, better prizes and increase their overall revenues. Online poker players residing in these four countries will only be allowed to participate in the shared liquidity agreement.
Looking back at 2017, there were more highs than lows and that is a positive sign for the online gambling industry as they venture into 2018.

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