While the online gambling industry in Europe has been blooming in the past decade, online casinos in the United States faced many regulations and restrictions in order to operate. Online gambling, in general, is legal by United States Federal law. However, each state has its own laws and regulations in regards to the matter. Therefore, online gambling has remained pretty much a grey area for many years, with many US states prohibiting any sorts of internet gambling and online sports betting.
In recent years, the picture started to look brighter as many states have already begun to draft laws to regulate online gambling. A few states such as New Jersey and Delaware already offer some form of online gambling, for example, online poker, online casinos, and sports betting. Other important factors have also contributed to the rise of the US market. The ruling of the Supreme Court in May 2018 in regards to the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), which for many years limited sports betting to only four states means that many more states will now be able to legalize and regulate sports betting.
Online Gambling Regulations
Following the global trends, many American players have switched from brick and mortar casinos to online gambling sites, thanks to the rise of the technology and easy access. Due to the different laws and regulations in each state, many US players were forced to gamble in remote sites, which in return meant huge tax loses for the country. Because of the tax loses and the rising size of the US Gambling market, a lot of states have already started to consider regulation of the market. Currently, there are four states which allow some sort of online casino games at the moment and another three that are likely to legalize it in 2019.
The current states which allow online casino are:
Delaware – The state of Delaware offers online casino, online poker, and sports betting.
New Jersey – Players within the state can legally play online casino games, online poker and can bet on sports games.
Nevada – Nevada only offers legal online poker games and sports betting.
Pennsylvania – The state offers legal online gambline, poker games and sports betting.
Three states are expected to lift the ban on online casinos in 2019: New York, Michigan, and West Virginia. All of them have already introduced regulation bills and are currently in the process of passing them.
Social Gaming Apps
Social gaming has been around for a while now but has only recently started to gain popularity amongst players around the world. Due to the huge demand, more and more casinos nowadays include social gaming options and continuously work with developers to bring new and exciting features. This comes as no surprise considering the rapid growth of social gaming. According to appfigures.com, 16 of the Top 100 Grossing apps for iPhone in the US market currently are social games. This trend will continue well on in 2019 with more casinos launching new apps to keep up with the competition.
VR And AR Casino Games
Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality are more and more common in today’s world, so it comes as no surprise that they have made their way in online casinos. Online casinos have always tried to bring their players a real-life casino experience, and even though most traditional online casino games are already doing a great job, Virtual Reality and 3D Graphics have taken the casino experience to the next level.
Globally, the AR and VR market is expected to rise to USD 192.2 billion by 2022, which has brought online casinos to make considerable investments in the development of new VR and AR software. The 2019 forecast is that there will be over 42.9 million VR and 68.7 million AR devices sold just in the USA, which will make the demand for VR and AR casino games even higher.
A new era began for the sports betting market in 2018 when the Supreme Court of the United States ruled out the PASPA act which prohibited new states from legalizing sports betting. Since the ban was lifted, many states already started to draft bills to regulate and legalize the sports betting activities.
Currently, there are twelve states which already offer their residents legal sports betting and another 33 which are expected to join soon. The states which have already legalized sports betting are Nevada, Delaware, New Jersey, Mississipi, Tennessee, West Virginia, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Iowa. The popularity of sports betting is expected to raise amongst US players thanks to the lift of the ban, which will cause the market revenue to skyrocket.
Where Can I Play Legally?
eSports Will Continue to Grow
The United States has always had an influential gaming culture, so it is no surprise that eSports became quite trendy in the country, just like in the rest of the world. According to research data from the gaming intelligence agency NewZoo, the global eSports industry is predicted to rise to USD 1.1 billion in revenue in 2019, an increase of 26.7% compared to 2018. The US market is also going to increase significantly and reach USD 409.1 million in revenue this year, which will make it the largest eSports market globally.
According to the Entertainment Software Association, more than 150 million Americans play video games, which makes roughly half of the population. Of these people, more than 60% play games on a daily basis. Data shows that around 12% of all internet users in the United States watch some eSports at least once a month, and the number is expected to grow to 15.5% by 2023. Home to the majority of eSports game developers and some of the biggest gaming events, the US eSports market will continue leading ahead and showing strong growth in recent years. It is expected to reach USD 691.1 million in revenue by 2022.
What Will the Future Bring?
There will always be a debate whether gambling is legal in the US and up until recently, it looked as if it was not. Currently, many states have overcome the challenges against online gambling restrictions and are either considering or in the process of legalizing it. The latter will grow the online gambling market in the US, with market researchers such as Technavio predicting growth of more than 51% between 2016-2020.
Online gambling in the US continues to grow, and for now, it looks like this trend will continue. Three states have already seen the potential of tax revenues that can be collected from online gambling activities and will overturn the current restrictions in 2019. Many more states are expected to follow in the forthcoming years. This will bring many American players back to their country’s online casinos, and the US will win back its place as the top online gambling destination for American players.
NewCasinos.nz Magazine Issue 4, Article List