Operators of online gaming, betting and sports betting, and affiliates in general, have always been contemplating on entering the US market, for obvious reasons. Such plans were left on paper for years, especially following the 2011 announcement by the Federal Government that online domestic sites offering gaming were functioning illegally under applicable legislation and ordered the shut-down of the largest internet poker websites in the U.S.
A handful of states, such as Nevada and New Jersey, decided to fill the gap by enacting intra state online gaming laws. But they had to continuously counter Federal actions claimed at curbing their efforts.
The shifting point came in 2018, when the United States Supreme Court’s decision in Murphy v. National Collegiate Athletic Association, et al., found that the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) of 1992 was unconstitutional and that states could decide for themselves whether to legalize or prohibit sports betting.
Starting that point, we have seen a significant rise in the number of states enacting laws aimed at legalizing online gaming, betting and sports betting in their territories.
To this date, at least 20 states have enacted laws and regulations legalizing online gaming, betting and sports betting, and the list is highly likely to keep growing. These states include Indiana, Pennsylvania, Washington DC, New Jersey, Illinois, Nevada, Delaware, West Virginia, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Oregon, North Carolina, New York, New Mexico, New Hampshire, Montana, Mississippi, Iowa, Arkansas and Colorado.
Even online advertising giants such as Google have demonstrated the growing acceptance of online gaming in the US by allowing ads promoting for the following types of online gambling: Sports betting in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Montana, New Jersey, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and West Virginia. Later on, Google announced that it will allow state-licensed entities to promote online casinos in Delaware, Nevada, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.
With regards to media affiliate marketing, some of the above mentioned states, such as Indiana, Pennsylvania, Washington DC, New Jersey and Illinois have introduced specific licensing regimes for media affiliates. On the other hand, some of the states which have legalized this industry do not require an affiliate to register or obtain a local license but will typically require an affiliate to show that he has established a contractual relationship with a local operator by submitting a letter of intent form the said operator to the local state regulator.
As to the licensing requirements and procedures, these vary from one state to another. Indiana for example has a rather fast and straightforward regime for media affiliate providers, which may end up in a license being granted within a month form submission (including the submission of a letter of intent form a local operator). Pennsylvania is an example for a rather moderate jurisdiction, while the licensing regime and procedures of Washington DC, New Jersey and Illinois are amongst the more complex and demanding, even for a media affiliate provider.
The core basic requirements which will apply in most jurisdictions includes setting up a company in the US (it can be in any state in the US, not necessarily the state where you are applying for a license), forms and declarations to be signed in front of a US consular officer, set of fingerprints to be provided by each shareholder and officer of the company applying for a license. Some states, like Indiana for example, will require the affiliate media applicant to provide a letter of intent from a local operator. Others, like Washington DC, requires an applicant to obtain a local business registration license to be eligible to apply for its gaming license.
Application fees vary a lot between states, starting with Indiana’s lowest fare at $500, through intermediate fees of $2,000-2,500 in Pennsylvania and New Jersey up to the highest mark of $10,000 in Washington DC and Illinois.
Processing the application by state authorities may take anywhere between a month to 4 months in average.
Needless to say that the potential lying in the US market is enormous and therefore highly attractive, as more and more states value the benefits of legalizing online gambling, betting and sports betting in their territories and the economic boost that such industry may bring to them at any times, even in the challenging times we are experiencing nowadays.
So, if you want to claim your share of that market, the time to act is now.
Author: David Woliner