New iGaming lobbying group launched in US

By Robert Simmons
A new lobbying group which aims to advance the cause of internet-based gambling in the United States has opened its first office in Washington DC.

The I-Development and Economic Association (iDEA) claims that it is “an association seeking to grow jobs and expand online interactive entertainment business in the United States through advocacy and education”.

It is made up of 17 firms representing a wide spectrum of the online gambling industry including: Amaya, Inc, Golden Nugget, Paysafe, Paddy Power Betfair, GVC Holdings, Resorts Interactive, Catena Media; NetENT, Sightline Payments, Continent 8 Technologies, NYX, Tropicana Entertainment, Gamesys, Pala Interactive, Vantiv Gaming Solutions, eZugi, and Ifrah Law.

iDEA aims to lobby federal legislators and political influencers on the positives of online gambling and draws a lot of its research from the positive impact that regulated online gambling has had on the New Jersey iGaming market.

According to research published on the group’s website, New Jersey iGaming has experienced strong growth since its inception, putting it far ahead of Nevada and Delaware in terms of registered player counts, gaming revenue, and tax revenue.

The industry generated $34.5 million in gaming taxes for New Jersey in 2016, including approximately $29.5 million to the state and $4.9 million locally, reflecting a 32% increase over 2015.

Many industry insiders feel that the current American Gaming Association (AGA) is not doing enough to advance the cause of online gambling in the US, which many believe is the result of outside interference from its largest donor, Las Vegas Sands Corp. CEO Sheldon Adelson.

iDEA is the industry's way of addressing this inaction, with the group hoping to eventually supersede the AGA as the main advocacy body for online gambling in the US.
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