The US online gambling market is booming rapidly, from New Jersey to Nevada. Interestingly, the industry accomplished tremendous growth in 2020 despite the COVID-19 pandemic. This year, the sector is projected to generate over $1.5 billion in three states alone:
- New Jersey
The journey to create a multi-billion online casino industry in the US started a decade ago. In 2009, New York and Illinois mailed the Department of Justice to inquire whether they could sell lottery tickets online.
At the time, the popular opinion was that the Wire Act of 1961 prohibited all forms of online gambling. The DOJ responded in 2011, saying not only could states sell lotto tickets online but they could also run fully-fledged online casinos.
2011-2017: Slow Legalization
After the DOJ authorized states to legalize iGaming at will, very few states took progressive states. Illinois and New York, which had made the enquiry, went ahead to sell lotto tickets online. But they never launched online casinos.
Instead, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Nevada and Delaware are the only states that legalized online casinos within five years of the DOJ’s announcement. Delaware was the first state to create online casino laws in 2012.
New Jersey followed next in 2013, permitting both slots and table games. In 2015, Nevada announced it would support online poker. However, it prohibited online slots and most table games to reduce competition with its seas of land-based casinos.
Pennsylvania got onboard legal online casino gambling in 2017 while West Virginia made similar laws later in 2020.
2018—2021: Race to Legalize Sports Betting
2018 brought about the legalization of sports betting in the US. This time, New Jersey sponsored the bill to end PASPA and permit sports betting. The NCAA, on the flip side, had gone to court to oppose legalizing sports wagering.
The Supreme Court sided with New Jersey. And within six months, more than a dozen states had legalized sports betting. In the usual style, states with top rated online casinosauthorized both in-person and mobile betting.
However, some jurisdictions permitted in-person betting and not online betting. Surprisingly, some states chose to legalize mobile betting but prohibited in-person betting.
2021 and Onwards: A Multi-Billion Industry
The online casino industry has skyrocketed in the past couple of years. This year, the sector has a projected revenue income of over $1.5 billion. This figure is expected to come from New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Michigan.
New Jersey regularly makes more than $100M per month from its online casinos. Pennsylvania generates up to $70M. Michigan, which legalized the industry earlier this year, made $83M from online casinos in July alone.
With the addition of West Virginia, Delaware and Nevada, the online casino industry will comfortably hit the $2 billion mark by the end of this year.
What’s behind the market’s bullish curve?
Progressive iGaming Laws
Changing casino laws are a boon for the industry. For a long time, the federal government prohibited online gambling. You couldn’t even play at offshore casinos in peace. Nowadays, there’s a handful of states that permit online casinos.
Some states don’t permit all forms of online gambling. But they allow you to play online poker and bingo. These new laws, although limited to a few states, are the reasons for the increased adoption of online casinos in the US.
US Citizens Embracing Online Gambling
According to multiple studies, people in the US are in support of legalizing online gambling. If you need evidence, take a look at states that permitted sports betting through ballot voting. In Maryland, South Dakota and Louisiana are great examples.
Last year, voters in these three states had a decision to make—legalize or ban sports betting. More than 60% of voters in the states passed to legalize online gambling. Voting aside, people around the US have been expressing support for online casinos in unique ways.
In New Jersey, tens of thousands of people have created online casino accounts in the past five years. In New York, where online casinos are still illegal, people travel to the Garden State every week to gamble online legally.
When it comes to choosing casino games, many players look at both the quality and quantity of games. Surprisingly, online casinos beat their Las Vegas counterparts at both metrics. They have games with rich graphics, in-game features and higher payouts.
To expound more, slot machines in Vegas payout at an average of 90%. Online, slots pay up to 99% of wagered money. Variety wise, gambling sites curate over 500 games on the same platform. This provides enough variety of slots, blackjack, poker, roulette and baccarat to the average player.
Bonuses and Promotions
For some people, bonuses are the reason they play slots and poker online. That’s because these freebies give you a chance to gamble for real money. If you win, you can cashout your profits. Lose and your wallet balance remains unchanged.
Many casinos in the US have welcome bonuses for everyone. All you need is to read instructions and follow them. For example, you can get a first deposit offer worth $50 if you deposit a similar amount.
Casinos have all types of bonuses, which help them win new customers. Read the terms and conditions of these offers carefully. Accept bonuses if you agree with their terms.
In the first couple of years after New Jersey and Delaware permitted online casinos, some credit cards and banks opted not to facilitate gambling payments. This meant lots of people couldn’t deposit and withdraw their money from casino sites.
Over time, banking support in the US has improved. You can now deposit and withdraw cash through most banks and credit card companies. Or you can use e-wallets like PayPal, e-Checks and cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum.
The best part is that you can spend as little as you have at online casinos. Many slots have minimum betting limits of below $1. Card games cost from $5 although high rollers can have fun spending up to $1000 per hand.
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