Considering the fact that only three states have now passed online gambling regulation laws, predictions that internet gambling would take off in the US have been proved wrong. Delaware, Nevada, and New Jersey are well on their way to providing a full blown online gambling opportunity for their citizens, with Nevada and Delaware entering a compact this year.
Other states expected to join the movement, like Ohio, California, Pennsylvania, are reticent due to lower than projected revenues earned by the said legal gambling states. At the other end of the spectrum, while most other states are not moving an inch towards joining the online gambling regulation action, Indian gambling tribes are taking a serious look at owning their own independent authority for operating online as well.
Since the passing of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act in 1988 the tribal gaming industry has grown exponentially with a $30 billion in revenue at the present moment. No one foresaw this incredible expansion, and by 2012, tribal operations spanned 28 states, with 240 tribes being in charge of over 450 gambling setups.
With the advent of the internet, gambling as well as other forms of entertainment naturally went digital and global. Starting with 1998 it was possible for players from the USA to gamble on sports betting sites off-shore. Tribes are allowed to have Class I chance games which are traditional in nature and are fully regulated by individual tribes, Class II licenses which include Bingo and non-banked card games, or Class III that include slots games and all other forms of gambling. For a Class III license the tribe would need to set up a compact with the particular state the tribe operates their gambling business in.
Technically if a tribe owns a Class III, perhaps even a Class II license they could also license their own internet gambling regulation under their existing authority. One foreseeable problem would be that opposing parties might object to this move, seeing as the 1988 Indian Gaming Regulatory Act does not include clauses pertaining to online gambling.
The future of Indian regulated online gambling sites currently stands on rocky ground since acceptance from the state governments to have a self-regulating gambling authority within their boundaries has never been a valid option.