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Online Casino Gambling in the U.S
In the past decade, New Jersey’s internet casino gambling industry has not only thrived but has also proven to be a substantial source of revenue for both casinos and the state. With nearly $7 billion in generated revenue and over a billion dollars in tax contributions, it has been a lifeline for Atlantic City’s casinos, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, despite this success, online casino gambling has yet to gain widespread acceptance across America.
Currently, only six states – New Jersey, Connecticut, Delaware, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and West Virginia – have embraced internet casino gambling. Nevada focuses on internet poker, and Rhode Island has passed legislation set to take effect in March 2024. Various stakeholders, including casino operators, online gambling companies, analysts, and elected officials, cite several reasons for the slow expansion of online casino gambling.
One key concern is the unfounded fear that internet gambling will divert gamblers away from physical casinos. Analysts argue that this apprehension is baseless, emphasizing that online gambling and physical casinos can coexist and even complement each other. Additionally, the prioritization of efforts to approve online sports betting, which constitutes almost 90% of bets made online in two-thirds of the states, has slowed the broader adoption of online casino gambling.
Proponents of online casino gambling anticipate a shift in momentum. The end of federal pandemic stimulus funding has states searching for new sources of tax revenue, making internet gambling an attractive option. Howard Glaser of Light & Wonder, an internet gambling technology company, predicts a wave of states adopting online casino gambling, citing New Jersey as a prime example of its potential success.
However, challenges remain. Chris Krafcik, managing director of the Eilers & Krejcik gambling analytics firm, suggests that some states may perceive online casinos as a more serious and high-stakes form of gambling compared to online sports betting. Additionally, competition from industry giants like DraftKings and FanDuel, which control nearly half of the online casino market in the U.S., poses a significant hurdle for new entrants.
Krafcik offers a cautious prediction, suggesting that only a small number of states may legalize online casinos by the end of 2027. He notes that online casino gambling has always been a tough sell, highlighting the need for careful consideration and strategic planning by states contemplating.
$1.2 billion; Michigan $537.7 million; Connecticut $69.2 million; West Virginia $14.9 million, and Delaware $25.8 million.
Despite the success stories and the substantial revenues generated, the path to embracing online casino gambling remains rocky in some states. Indiana is one such example, where an online casino bill faced its demise in February, primarily due to concerns about its potential impact on existing physical casinos. The state’s Legislative Services Agency issued a report warning of significant tax revenue losses, estimating a range of $134 million to $268 million annually due to the displacement of gaming activities at brick-and-mortar casinos and racinos. Undeterred, Indiana lawmakers are gearing up for another attempt next year.
Meanwhile, Elaine Vallaster from New Jersey exemplifies the positive experiences of online casino enthusiasts. Playing internet slots on BetRivers.com for about three years, Vallaster appreciates the variety of activities offered, including free bingo games and a chat function that has facilitated real-life friendships. Her positive interactions highlight the social aspect of online gambling, demonstrating that it goes beyond the digital realm for some players.
New Jersey leads the nation in both taxes paid to governments and money won by gambling companies through legal internet gambling. According to the American Gaming Association, internet gambling collectively has contributed $16.3 billion in revenue across states that offer it. New Jersey, with $6.91 billion generated since November 2013, stands out as a frontrunner. Pennsylvania follows closely with $4.34 billion since July 2019, while Michigan, Connecticut, West Virginia, and Delaware have also seen significant contributions to their coffers.
In terms of tax revenue from internet casino bets during the same periods, Pennsylvania leads with $1.83 billion, followed by New Jersey with $1.2 billion. Michigan, Connecticut, West Virginia, and Delaware have also benefited, underscoring the financial appeal of legalized online gambling.
As the numbers speak to the financial success of online casino gambling, it remains to be seen whether other states will overcome concerns and join the trend. The experiences of enthusiasts like Vallaster showcase the potential for social engagement and real-life connections within the online gambling community, adding a human dimension to the debate surrounding its expansion. The upcoming efforts in states like Indiana will provide insight into whether the promising revenue figures can overcome lingering reservations and pave the way for a broader acceptance of online casino gambling across the United States.
ATLANTIC CITY (AP)