U.S. States Embracing iGaming

Never in history has gambling become more accepted in the country as it is today. At present, 38 states have permitted some form of gambling. Forty-eight states have lotteries, and almost half of all states allow certain types of casino gaming.

Studies conducted by the American Gaming Association (AGA) show that nine out of every ten American adults find betting to be an acceptable activity for themselves and others. Additionally, close to 50% of Americans took part in some form of betting in 2023.

gaming in the U.S.These statistics help to prove that gambling has become a mainstream activity. But while this may be so, it’d be wise not to get too comfortable with the current situation. Currently, gambling is making waves nationwide, and it’s threatening to disrupt the gaming market.

Welcome to the dynamic new world of iGaming.

iGaming Is Not to Be Confused with Mobile Sports Betting

From a general point of view, iGaming refers to any internet-based wagering on the outcome of a match. Mobile sports betting falls under this segment, though it has evolved into its own category of gambling and is legal in 30 states.

Therefore, iGaming usually refers to web-based casino games such as slots and blackjack.

At the moment, this form of gambling has only been legalized in seven states: Rhode Island, New Jersey, Connecticut, Delaware, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. But while this is the current situation, iGaming could soon become a game-changer based on this Play USA bill tracker.

Michigan legalized it in 2021 and is today the top online gaming market in the country. Data from the AGA shows that the Great Lake State ranked fifth overall in terms of gaming revenue, having hauled in a whopping $3.6 billion in 2023.

But while its popularity and legalization have only just recently peaked in the U.S., the situation in Europe is different altogether. iGaming exploded in the continent years ago, with estimates showing it might hit the $80 billion mark by 2029.

These figures have caught the attention of one of the largest states here at home — a state that happens to be in urgent need of a cash infusion.

New York Looking to Adopt iGaming

New York has a budget deficit of $4.3 billion, which analysts believe will only continue growing. To help combat this situation, a proposal has been put forward by Sen. Joseph P. Addabbo Jr. to legalize iGaming.

The proposal will see the state generate revenue via a one-time fee of $ 2 million on licensed operators and an operator tax of around 31.5%. In his proposal, the senator notes that promoting a legalized form of gambling is an economic necessity.

His proposal, which has attracted intense political opposition, includes a clause that ensures that licenses only get awarded to existing gamblers. These include three New York Gaming tribes, three racetracks, three downtown facilities under development, and four upstate casinos.

If adopted, this provision will assist in eliminating the most common criticism of iGaming, which is that its presence causes the death of physical gaming stores. For example, if you look at Nevada, where casinos are the go-to gambling locations, only online poker has been legalized.

Users wishing to play via mobile sports betting apps must visit a physical sportsbook location.

The inclusion of these rules in the proposals to legalize iGaming are meant to ensure that gamblers won’t stop visiting traditional casinos. Remember, these are the same businesses that effectively fund the operations of states such as Nevada.

More and More States are Shifting their Focus to iGaming

Around eight states have so far introduced legislation in the first few months of 2024 meant to address issues related to iGaming. New Jersey initiated such a measure, known as SB 4268, meant to forbid state employees from maintaining any relationship with the iGaming sector.

To date, seven states have so far legalized internet gaming, with Rhode Island being the latest state to do so at the close of 2023.

Online Casino Gaming Continues to Grow in the East

On whether the Empire State will legalize internet gaming, this depends on its governor. Since the proposal was first introduced, Governor Kathy Hochul has kept her thoughts to herself, leaving everyone guessing what she thinks of it.

The state senator, on the other hand, maintains that this is the opportune time to introduce online casino gaming in the state. His insistence is driven by the fact that neighboring states such as Pennsylvania, Connecticut, and New Jersey have already legalized it.

New Jersey, for example, generated $1.92 billion in iGaming revenue in 2023, showing just how much this form of gambling can earn the state.

Internet Gaming May Be Headed West in the Coming Days

The interest in internet gaming extends beyond the eastern states. For example, Hawaii, which, together with Utah, has banned all types of gambling, has started to look into companion measures SB 3376 and HB 2259. These measures will allow a single entity to operate an internet-based sportsbook and online platform for ten years.

California, however, is the biggest prize in the gambling niche.

In 2022, billions of dollars were spent in the state on measures supporting and blocking the legalization of sports betting. Eventually, the tribal casinos carried the day by having them blocked. Nevertheless, gaming executives are doing little to hide the fact that they’re still interested in operating gambling platforms in the Golden State.

The Takeaway

iGaming has gained traction in the eastern states, but this doesn’t mean that its popularity won’t extend to the west. The burgeoning world of online gaming brings with it many gambling opportunities for the residents and a sizable amount in the form of revenue to the state.

With this in mind, you should note that if people haven’t started talking about internet gaming in your state yet, watch out, as this may change in the coming days.

South Florida Caribbean News

The SFLCN.com Team provides news and information for the Caribbean-American community in South Florida and beyond.

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