In part two of SBR Industry Interviews with Interactive Media Entertainment and Gaming Association (iMEGA) President Joe Brennan Jr., the overall gambling climate in the United States is discussed as Mr. Brennan weighs in on infrastructure, regulatory requirements as well as a look at a few key states in the mix for interactive gaming.
To start part two of the interview with Mr. Brennan, Natalie opens with a question on Nevada's issuance of the first interactive gaming licenses in US history.
"Nevada's obviously the capital of brick and mortar based gambling here in the United States. It's in their interest because it's such a big part of their state economy, to continue to try to maintain a leadership position. The difficulty Nevada has is that it lacks or needs to catch up in many of the critical areas that would be necessary for being a host for a high-tech industry."
Nevada's IT capabilities and electrical setup were of particular concern to Mr. Brennan. "(Nevada) does not have a sufficient information technology infrastructure. It doesn't have a very good electric grid to be able to support large data centers to support this industry."
Moving one state to the left, Mr. Brennan discussed a recent post on his Twitter page pertaining to Californians interest in sports betting and online poker.
"California is the technology leader in the United States, between Silicon Valley and all of the companies. It seems like it would be an intuitive fit obviously for California to be a leader in this market. I think the California poll points out something that is indicative of how soft internet gambling's numbers are when you do this intentionally."
Speaking more on voter approval of internet gambling and how age demographics may play a part, Mr. Brennan added: "There's a lot of younger voters. Older voters are far more conservative when it comes to issues of technology. They've not yet really embraced online gaming. The older part of the population lags in simple e-Commerce. There's fewer older people shopping at Amazon or using iTunes than there are a percentage of the younger population."
Wrapping up the interview with Mr. Brennan, Natalie asked a pointed question on when US citizens may be able to legally gamble from the comfort of their own homes on interactive gaming offered in other states.
"You're not going to have a lot of tourists flying to Nevada in order to engage in internet gambling; they're going to be relying on their in-state population. It's already been recognized that Nevada needs to be able to engage in interstate compacts. I expect Nevada to be very politically active in pushing for this." Mr. Brennan believes that state lotteries could help advance interstate gambling. "They're already wired up and already have the permissive legislation to do this. The first lottery that comes forward and says we want to offer virtual poker; if it's part of the lotteries that are part of the Powerball System, you'll see it move very quickly."
Related: Part 1 of SBR Industry Interviews with iMEGA President Joe Brennan Jr.
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