The US iGaming market has been seeing a huge amount of activity since 2018 when federal change allowed individual states to make their own decisions around online gambling and betting regulation – the changes have come with varying amounts of success, Colorado was amongst the first to make change and posted impressive figures in its first few years, and most recently New York had also legalized online sports betting topping $150 in its first weekend but figures have been slowly declining since.
With the big changes sweeping in, however, online betting sites have been the major target whilst online casinos have taken a backseat. Some states have legalized online casinos but it’s the rarer case – so what is it that’s leading to betting being preferred over casinos, and which roadblocks need to be overcome for online casino to grow?
Stigma for casinos still exists
Despite states like Vegas being a worldwide hub for gambling, casinos, and gambling as a whole still hold a certain stigma which has restricted their growth and prevented many from launching – sports betting is viewed differently by many, for some believing an informed decision back by the stats can lead to a win, but casinos and games of chance are a different thing entirely and that stigma still persists.
Tribal casino rights
Another important consideration for many states has been within the tribal casino rights that are in place – Florida had already been through a war of attrition trying to pass legislation to allow for sports betting for this very reason as it’s written in these tribal casino rights exactly what is protected and what isn’t. In order to get online casinos off the ground, regulation first has to go through these tribal gaming and casino rights, and this can often be a slow process that is blocked at every turn leading to the possibility of online casinos being vastly reduced.
New York may be an example of how to get things moving forward here, however, by skirting around language within the tribal casinos rights it allowed for online sports betting to move forward and may also look to provide an opportunity for online poker to grow too as it’s the next target within NY.
Other states may still be slower to follow, those that haven’t yet introduced mobile sports betting are the obvious candidates for states where casinos will be unlikely to emerge, but others that have found sports betting success and are drawing international interest from many of Europe’s biggest iGaming providers may seek to double down on the big numbers already posted and seek to grow further.