James Dennin, Kapitall: New York will expand gambling, but will the list of stocks connected to online gambline we've compiled benefit?
In a move that belies the pragmatism of New York state's population, voters rebuffed a coalition of both conservative and left-wing strongholds, in a referendum that overwhelmingly approved the expansion of casino gambling.
There's no mistaking that the move, which will allow the construction of up to seven corporate or privately owned casinos throughout the upstate region, is a major victory for the gambling lobby. It's no secret that the industry has long eyed the Empire State, the country's third most populous, and a potentially huge market.
The law's popularity with New Yorkers, in and out of the city, indicates a growing acceptance of gambling. Especially as the prospect of jobs and tax revenue continues to throttle concerns about the social depreciation that sometimes sprouts up in cities that legalize the practice.While the law was designed to help depressed regions upstate - many of which share borders with states that already have gambling - powerful lobbyists are almost sure to turn their attention to the southern, populous regions of the state that include New York City. If the trend continues, voters and lawmakers may turn their attention to another fat revenue stream: online gambling. A London-based startup called Betable recently raised over $23 million in seed funding to explore different ways to monetize the efforts of online game developers. Some analysts and funds expect that online gambling alone could become a $43 billion industry by 2015. Only four states currently allow the practice, with New Jersey joining the list this month. Investing ideas As states across the political spectrum warm to the idea – investors will want to follow the new laws and provisions up for debate. We have already assembled a list of stocks that could stand to benefit from extensions in online gambling, and decided to revisit that list. Read more about our online gambling list: Online Gambling Stocks: Will the US Cash In? It's interesting in particular to think about how these developments will change another high-growth industry: social networking. Facebook (FB) and Zynga (ZNGA) have been eyeing online gambling as a way to monetize as early as the summer. And as we've already covered, tech stocks like these have some pretty good lobbyists too. But is this all enough to capitalize on the growth in online gambling? Consider the list below. Click on the interactive charts below to view performance over time for the stocks in our list. Will online gambling become more prevalent, and benefit these companies? Use the list below as a starting point for your own analysis.