The post coronavirus world is going to be a lot different in various ways. As far as the American gambling industry is concerned, there’s a high chance that state lawmakers will pass legislation authorising online gambling and sports betting services, including mobile betting.
This was the final conclusion drawn at the recently held discussion titled ‘Sports Betting in America’ at the SBC Digital Summit. Several consultants and executives from the gaming industry took part in the panel which also involved CEO and founder of Corridor Consulting, John Pappas.
Pappas was once the Poker Players Alliance’s executive director. He said that the gaming industry will benefit in one major way from the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. This will be in the form of many more American states legalizing online gambling in their respective jurisdictions. He emphasised that the businesses must act cautiously while venturing into states in dire need of revenue. He believes in educating states on the importance of creating a competitive market, involving reasonable fees and low tax rates. Pappas exuded confidence that by taking this approach states will earn considerably more revenue over the long term; as against trying to juice out the industry in the short-term. He feels that the latter is clearly not the ideal policy.
Online casino operations are allowed only within Pennsylvania, Delaware and New Jersey. Nevada, on the other hand, permits interactive poker.
Measures taken in response to Covid-19
The rapid spread of COVID-19 caused the closure of all the tribal gaming and commercial casino resorts in the US. Both gaming companies and Native American tribes were left devastated. The latter in particular depend heavily on casino revenues for funding their sovereign nations. Although some tribal casinos are back in business, commercial casino establishments continue to stay shut as per the state orders.
Matt Carey is an analyst at Vixio Regulatory Intelligence which works alongside payment processors and gaming companies on regulatory developments. He said that even when we’re past COVID-19, people won’t be able to freely venture out of their houses and do whatever they wish. The transition is going to be pretty standard. A large segment of the population will be wary and won’t rush to the nearest casino. In that scenario, online casinos will prove to be a great help.
The iGaming revenue of New Jersey jumped 65.6% from last year, in March, to an impressive $ 64.8 million. In Pennsylvania, the total online gambling revenue stood at $ 24.3 million despite online casinos going live only last summer.
About online sports betting
Online casinos have been legalised in 3 states and authorised online sports betting services are offered in 11 states. 18 states overall have legalised sports betting operations. The chances are high that the continued Covid-19 shutdown might convince more states to legalise online sports betting.
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