The countrywide lockdown imposed due to the COVID-19 pandemic struck every major industry in America severely. The post-COVID revival of all industries has been tough. However, some industries have seemed to make a quick recovery as compared to others. The gambling industry, for one, has had a quick revival with its revenue hitting $13.6 billion in the second quarter of 2021 according to the figures released by the American Gaming Association. The global online gambling industry is one of the very few industries worldwide that managed to stay afloat during the pandemic.
For the past few years, the American gambling industry has been flourishing with the number of players and revenue increasing every year. However, gambling in the United States hasn’t always had an upward trajectory. The gambling industry of the United States traveled through quite a complex path to get where it is today.
A Brief History of Gambling in the United States
Though gambling has always been a lucrative sport in America, it has not always been entirely legal. Sports betting, one of the most lucrative segments of the American gambling industry, was not explicitly legalized before 2018. With the annulment of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 in May 2018, the American gambling industry entered an era of revolution. The judicial overturning of this long-established federal law paved the way to the multi-billion dollar revolution of the American gambling industry.
Since the Colonial period, there have been countless watersheds in the history of American gambling. However, the most lucrative and remarkable turning point arrived when gambling activities produced gross revenue of $92.27 billion in 2018, reaching the highest figure in its history. What started as a form of entertainment for Virginian landowners back in the Colonial period turned out to be a multi-billion dollar industry.
The Current Worth of the American Gambling Industry
According to the figures released by the American Gaming Association, the gambling industry of the United States employs up to 2 million people and is worth $240 billion. One of the many reasons the American gambling industry managed to stay afloat during the pandemic is the online gambling sector. Due to recent advances in technology, online gambling platforms provided players with a gaming experience as immersive as brick and mortar casinos. Unlike other industries, the pandemic did not take a heavy toll on the gambling revenues in the United States. The pandemic marked an unprecedented migration of gamblers from offline to online gambling platforms. If you also want to play in an online casino, you can check out which casinos are not registered with Gamstop at https://casinonotongamstop.com/.
Though the first online casino was launched only two decades ago, the technological advances of the 21st century enabled the online gambling industry to outpace all major industries in the United States and grow into a multi-billion dollar industry in just a few years.
The online gambling industry has attracted customers from all sectors of society i.e. elite, middle-class, upper-middle-class, lower-middle-class, etc. Online gambling sites such as casinomir.com have become a source of consistent income for so many people around the country. As the amount required for an initial deposit in online gambling is considerably less than land-based gambling, people from all financial backgrounds are participating in some kind of gambling activity online.
Additionally, technological advances like virtual reality (VR) and artificial reality (AR) have played a huge role in attracting gamblers to online platforms. In the last few years, online gambling has become virtually the same as land-based gambling. There was a time when online gambling sites were deemed to be a playground for amateurs. With the advancement of technology, that mindset changed and the online gambling industry experienced a massive influx of professional players in the last few years.
In addition to technological advances, the multi-billion dollar gambling revolution of America is attributable to the moderation of gambling laws across the country in the last couple of years.
Legal and Regulatory Barriers to Industry Growth
The online gambling laws in the United States greatly vary from state to state. The only thing stopping the American gambling industry from reaching its zenith is the time-honored mindset held by the conservative sector of the country. Though many states have moderated laws pertaining to gambling, there are considerable legal restrictions for interstate gambling and online gambling.
A significant part of America’s gambling revenue comes from state-run lotteries that are legal in all states except Hawaii and Utah. Though casino-style gambling is not very widespread, significant leeway has been granted to states regarding intrastate gambling laws. Casino-style gambling is legal in the majority of states across the country. However, there are some geographic areas in every state where it is prohibited. The only two states where casino-style gambling is legal statewide in Nevada and Louisiana. However, there are too many licensing and zoning restrictions in these states as well.
Atlantic City and Tunica have the largest casino-style gambling markets in the country. These markets successfully managed to recapture their customer base after the pandemic. The surprising fact is that the online gambling market of New Jersey remained intact without any noticeable decrease in players even after the reopening of land-based casinos early this year. Similarly, the online gambling markets of Nevada, Delaware, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia did not experience any pronounced decline in the number of players after the lockdown was lifted early this year.
Comparison with Canadian and Britain Markets
Due to legal barriers, the American online gambling industry has not been able to surpass the revenues of its Canadian and Britain counterparts. The Canadian gambling industry contributes over $30 billion to the national economy annually and this figure is projected to grow in the coming years. Similarly, the online gambling industry of the United Kingdom accounts for $7.85 billion which constitutes about 40% of the UK’s total gambling revenue.
Though the online gambling industry in the United States is growing, it’s no way near its Canadian and Britain counterparts. Due to legal restrictions, most Americans engage in offshore online gambling i.e. playing in online casinos based in the U.K. or Canada. Approximately 40% of Canada’s online gambling revenue comes from offshore players, most of them Americans. In the post-COVID world, it has become evident that there is a giant gap in the American gambling industry that can be filled with online gambling platforms.