According to a story from NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth, federal authorities have uncovered an illegal sports gambling ring located in North Texas that took in over $1 billion in revenue from September 2009 to September 2010.
No indictments have been unsealed. Expect that to change, however. In forfeiture papers filed in court, approximately 22 individuals were involved in the operation, which used offshore sites and a toll-free phone line. The line apparently received 20,000 calls per month.
The IRS seized cash, automobiles, jewelry, and sports memorabilia, among other things. Claims have been filed by those seeking return of the items.
Stories such as these add substance to those seeking an expansion of legalized sports betting in the United States. Earlier today, for example, New Jersey released its draft of sports betting regulations.
A showdown in court over the federal ban on sports betting seems imminent.
Discussion about the possible legalization of online gambling in the U.S. has been gaining more and more traction for some time. An update here on the current legislative developments is long overdue.
California: In late February, Senate Bill 1463 was introduced. The bill would legalize online poker in California, and has a goal of raising $200 million for the state general fund. The bill is co-authored by Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg. According to the complete bill history for Senate Bill 1463, the bill may be acted upon on or after March 26.
Iowa: This past Thursday, Iowa House Speaker Kraig Paulsen said the State House does not plan to take up Senate File 2275, which would legalize intrastate online poker in Iowa. The State Senate had recently approved the bill in a 29-20 vote. The bill is all but dead.
Mississippi: In late February, House Bill 1373 was introduced. The bill would have legalized online gambling within the state. The bill is now dead.
Nevada: Nevada is far ahead of any other state in this area, having legalized intrastate online poker late last year. In January, the Nevada Gaming Control Board finalized the Technical Standards for Gaming Devices, and the Minimum Internal Control Standards were finalized in February. At this time, it is unclear when online operators will be permitted to accept real-money deposits. Some speculate late 2012.
New Jersey: In early February, Senate Bill 1575 was introduced. The bill would legalize online gambling within the state. Just over a year ago, Governor Christie vetoed a bill that would have legalized intrastate online gambling, citing constitutional concerns. Current bill sponsor Senator Lesniak believes he has addressed these concerns. The bill failed to advance through the legislature during the final voting session this past week, however, so it may not be subject to a vote for at least six more weeks.