International Focus: Developments in the U.S. Online Gambling Market
The United States is quite diverse when it comes to gambling and its legality. While some states such as Nevada are symbolic of their luxurious casino environments, other states such as Hawaii and Utah still prohibit any sort of gambling, even on the internet. Despite this, the future of online gambling in the country looks bright and many states are already shifting their views and passing new laws that legalize gambling.
After the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) was overturned in 2018 by the Supreme Court of the United States, many states have allowed sports betting activities within their borders. 2019 has been quite eventful for the online gambling sector in the country. Two states have launched their first online casinos and 8 states have legalized sports betting. In addition, many more states are expected to follow in the next year. Where does the US stand today in the online gambling market and what awaits the country in the near future? Check out our infographics below showcasing the growth of the sector and what are the future expectations.
The Gambling Law
Gambling is legal under U.S. federal law, although some restrictions apply to online gambling. And each state has the right to allow or prohibit the activity within its own borders. First to legalize gambling, was the State of Nevada in 1931 when the state legalized most forms of gambling in an effort to raise some money in taxes during the Great Depression. Maryland allowed slot machines for a brief period of time in the 50’s, but it wasn’t until 1977 that another state, New Jersey, legalized gambling. In the 90’s Michigan also joined the gambling-friendly states. Nowadays, commercial gambling is allowed in 25 states, and other sorts of gambling activities such as charitable casinos, tribal casinos, and lotteries are available in most states. The only exceptions at the moment are Utah and Hawaii, where gambling is considered a misdemeanor.
Since the beginning of the year 2000, online casino and gaming legislation has been through years of continual evolution and development. Back in the days, nobody could have forecasted the speed at which new technology would progress, which is ultimately what’s behind the huge success of the online gambling industry.
In terms of legislation, most types of online casino games remain completely legal under US federal law. However, there are significant differences in legalization under state law. While some states still maintain that online casinos should be deemed as illegal, others have fully legalized the activity and some even allow poker games. According to CasinoDaddy.com at the moment there are only three states that have legalized online casinos entirely – Nevada, Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
An adult of legal age within any of these three states can legally sign up in an online casino and enjoy the thrill of the casino experience without having to leave their living room. There are many online casino websites such as Casoo, LadyHammer, Playzee and other great brands that are available to US players.
Pennsylvania is the most recent state to adopt laws in favor of regulating the very lucrative market. As one of the very first adopters, New Jersey is known for having one of the most developed online gaming markets, while Nevada is slightly different as only online poker rooms have legal status there, rather than fully operational online casinos. However, talks are ongoing in favor of legalizing online gambling in Nevada.
Is betting legal in the Unitres States of America? In short, the answer is yes. The more important answer, however depends on the state that the players is located in. On the federal level, sports betting is completely legal, the most important answer, however, depends on the state that the player is located.. The good news is that more and more states have either regulated sports wagering, or are in the process of passing laws.
Since the United States Supreme Court outruled the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), sports betting in the USA is no longer unconstitutional. It is now up to the individual states to decide if they want to authorize and regulate sports betting in their borders.
Many states have since began drafting bills to legalize the activity. At the moment, sports betting is legal in 11 states. Eight of these launched their first sportsbooks only this year. The number of states that allow sports wagering is expected to double next year bringing the total number to 22 in 2020. Eight more states are projected to pass laws in 2021. It is expected that the total number of states allowing legal sports will reach a total of 42.
US Gambling Revenues
Online Gambling Revenue
The online gambling market in the United States has been on the rise in the past few years, thanks to the new regulations which are being adopted. In 2017, the U.S. generated $247.5 million revenue from online gambling which increased to $306.5 million in 2018. These numbers might not look that impressive in comparison to the £2.92 billion generated by the UK’s iGaming market, however, keep in mind that the revenue was generated by only three states which are currently allowing online gambling.
The table above showcases gambling revenues generated in the U.S. in respectively 2017 and 2018. According to the statistics from statista.com, the revenue generated by online casinos has increased by 24% during that time frame. What should be noted is that the revenue generated from sports wagering has increased by almost 75%, as a result of the market opening since PASPA.
What Will the Future Bring?
If the complicated history of online gambling has taught us anything, it is that the U.S. legislation system is far more complex. Clearly, there are some states that are more progressive in their gambling views and at the same time, there are those states where gambling still remains a taboo. Only the future will show when and if we will see the country completely gambling-friendly.
With so much investment now being pumped into the market, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see more changes approaching on the horizon. At the moment, we can only say that the revenues generated by online gambling are skyrocketing, and we are expecting to see this trend to continue well into 2020.
Voice of the Player Magazine Issue 7, Article List