NCLGS Partners With UK Gambling Commission

NCLGS Partners With UK Gambling Commission
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NCLGS strives to to create a committee to analyze current online casino gaming markets to mirror iGaming legislation that is currently intact in countries such as the United Kingdom.

Online casino gaming in the United States is set to take a big leap forward following the National Council of Legislators from Gaming States (NCLGS) announcing a formal partnership with the UK Gambling Commission on Monday.

The announcement was made after a 2024 Winter Meeting amongst NCLGS leadership to create a committee to analyze current online casino gaming markets to mirror iGaming legislation that is currently intact in countries such as the United Kingdom. NCLGS president Shawn Fluharty a delegate to West Virginia, is tasked with the goal of preparing model gambling legislation for states to review, namely, online casino gaming.

iGaming regulation

While online sports betting has been on an exponential trajectory in legal sports betting states, online casino gaming has been slower in terms of adaption and popularity amongst bettors in the United States. This is why NCLGS has decided to partner with the UK Gambling Commission, bringing them in as a special advisor to share their experience and successful strategies while regulating the world’s biggest iGaming market.

“Gambling is an increasingly global industry with many of the same risks, opportunities, and challenges seen on both sides of the Atlantic," UK Gambling Commission’s executive director Tim Miller said. "It’s therefore essential that jurisdictions, that will often be regulating the same companies, work together to share knowledge and best practice to deliver fair, safe, and crime-free gambling markets.”

The NCLGS is neutral in terms of its support for iGaming since its main goal is to ensure that proper regulatory measures are taken to maintain positive economic and social impacts within each state. Plans to reveal the upcoming iGaming legislation model will occur from July 17-20 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania after studies conclude.

What is iGaming?

The UK Gambling Commission regulates and oversees arcades, betting, bingo, casinos, slot machines, and lotteries, plus remote gambling, over in Great Britain. 

“Obviously iGaming is the talk of the town right now. It’s been slow moving in states compared to sports betting," Fluharty said in January, according to Vixio. “ ... We’re going to put some model legislation together so that legislators like yourselves, and those who will be listening in, can take some feedback back to your district and put together good legislation that’s going to raise revenue and not taxes.” 

Director of the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement, David Rebuck, highlights three facets of the interest in legalizing online casino gaming in more states. These consist of who would gatekeep market access, how many skins should be available for each operator, as well as state tax policy, like tax volume and usage of revenue. 

Founded in the 20th century, NCLGS has existed for more than two decades and is the sole organization consisting of state legislators who meet regularly to focus on issues related to online casino gaming and other iGaming markets. Fluharty’s priorities are, “to strengthen the U.S. iGaming market, shrink the black market, and protect consumers.”

Future of iGaming in the United States

Fluharty wants to get ahead of a potential iGaming spike amongst consumers in the United States. Consumer protection and transparency are two more talking points the NCLGS president has referenced, identifying hesitancy amongst bettors to buy into the idea of casino gaming available online via mobile devices.

Daran Dorsey, the executive director of the Association of Gaming Equipment Managers, said that sports betting is a more accepted activity in the United States versus iGaming since it’s been a part of the culture for decades.

“That activity is ingrained, we’re comfortable with that versus the technology of taking a land-based environment and turning it into a digital environment,” he said.

The partnership between NCLGS and the UK Gambling Commission aims to create quality legislation for state lawmakers to adopt in an effort to grow the domestic iGaming industry while protecting consumers and ensuring responsible betting practices are maintained.