ATLANTIC CITY, NJ
While sports betting has spread across the country, with states, casinos and consumers eagerly embracing a new gambling market, internet casino gambling has grown much more slowly.
But the online casino market has huge potential for growth and expansion, attendees at a major casino conference said on Friday.
Speaking at the East Coast Gaming Congress, online gaming company executives and their technology partners said the rapid growth of sports betting has provided a ready-made infrastructure and regulatory apparatus for online casino gaming. line.
So far, these games of chance are only legal in six states: New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Michigan, West Virginia, Delaware and Connecticut.
But conference panelists predicted that three or four more states could soon adopt internet gambling, including Indiana, Illinois, Iowa and New York.
Additionally, more than a dozen states sell lottery tickets over the Internet, according to James Carey, executive director of the New Jersey Lottery.
“I believe there is plenty of room for growth,” said Jeffrey Millar, commercial director of North American operations for Evolution, an online casino content provider.
“The growth of this industry is still in its infancy in the United States,” added David Rebuck, New Jersey’s top gambling regulator as director of the state’s Division of Gaming Enforcement.
Richard Schwartz, CEO of Chicago-based online gaming company Rush Street Interactive, said states that already have legal sports betting are good candidates to embrace online casino gaming as well.
“They already have regulators in place,” he said. “They have servers in place. It is faster to start a casino addition.
Currently, 31 states plus Washington, DC offer legal sports betting, with several more expected to do so soon.
Since launching internet gambling nine years ago, New Jersey casinos have earned $4.79 billion from online gamblers, according to the American Gaming Association, the industry’s national trade group. casinos. That’s nearly double the $2.47 billion that Pennsylvania casinos have earned online since July 2019.
Michigan has earned $2 billion online since January 2021; Connecticut $199.7 million since October 2021; West Virginia $137.4 million since July 2020; and Delaware $42.2 million since December 2013. Nevada offers online poker but does not detail this revenue separately from the casinos report on in-person revenue to the state.
These figures are for online casino gaming only and do not include sports betting revenue, which is reported separately.
New Jersey is set to extend its Internet gambling law for another 10 years, and during Thursday’s opening session of the casino conference, the state’s Democratic Governor Phil Murphy , promised he would sign the bill if it passes.
A 2018 U.S. Supreme Court ruling in a case brought by New Jersey paved the way for all 50 states to offer legal sports betting if they so choose. With this rapid expansion, some expected internet gambling to almost automatically grow at an equally rapid pace.
“That didn’t happen,” said Howard Glaser, head of government affairs and legislative counsel at Laught & Wonder, the successor company to gaming technology company Scientific Games.
He said there are lingering concerns, particularly among some state lawmakers, that internet gambling could cannibalize brick-and-mortar casino revenue and customers – even though the gambling industry itself has established that this was not the case.
Casinos initially had the same concerns when New Jersey launched Internet gambling in November 2013. Luisa Woods is vice president of Delaware North, the gaming, hospitality and sports company that owns casinos in New York, in Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, West Virginia and Ohio. .
She was previously responsible for digital operations at the Tropicana Casino in Atlantic City in 2013.
“My first job was to sell to the business I’m not here to compete with your business; I’m here to help him grow,” she said. “We integrated the brand, we created loyalty accounts for each remote customer. We had people showing up at the property for the first time who already had a host assigned to them.
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