The Rise of Online Casinos

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To bet or not to bet….

There was a weird rumour that online casinos were bad for the American economy.  In the same news feed there was a declaration that online casinos were going to hit a $100 billion contribution to the nation’s bank balance for the first time.  The truth as ever seems elusive when you do a superficial browse of the latest news and gossip. So, what is the truth?

With little surprise, Americans cannot get enough of gambling.  In 2017, online casinos were poised to make record revenues. The online gambling sites seem to continue to represent a good bet to investors. With an ease of access and high-tech appeal of the online games making it an ever-increasing obsession for a nation addicted to risk and addicted to the internet.

Why the doom and gloom?

Online casinos in the US continue to lag behind the world.  The idea that they are bad for the American economy is hyperbole – this is definite.  What purveyors and owners in the online casino world are actually saying is that it could be so much better for the American economy… if only….

If only for what? Well, if only the regulation that pertains to online gambling wasn’t so prohibitive.  There are only a few operators allowed to legally run sites in the US – or to actively reach out to the US gambler.  The laws standing in the way of an even greater boom include those that prevent banks from receiving money that could come from what is perceived as illegal gambling.  This means that although there is a hoard of online casinos around the globe – few will accept an American gambler because of these restrictions.

Some US states like New Jersey allow for casinos within state boundaries. This means some of the larger online casinos have managed to get a license for players living within the state.  There are also workarounds in places like Atlantic City. Here the casinos that are based in the city – with physical properties for gambling – can apply for a license for an online site.  All those that have used these exceptions are seeing a healthy growth – online poker rose by 9% in Atlantic City – and this shows the potential for the market for America.

Can online gambling rise even further?

All this points to the fact that there is potential in the online casino market in the US.  The potential for a change in regulations and laws is predicted to come with time. Analysts claim that with longevity will come an evolution of the law that will favour the casinos.  The clue is in the attitudes to physical casinos. The longer they stay around, the more they are used – the more permissive the laws become.

Also, Trump being Trump isn’t going to miss out on the potential pay-out for the economy that the online casino can offer.  Many analysts predict that he will have a positive impact on regulation – stripping back the laws that prevent online casinos booming in the US – like they are in the rest of the world.  Therefore, a market that is already showing promise is likely to boom in the future.

Trump has remained steadfast in his approach to regulation.  The less restriction there is on business and economic growth – the better this will be for Americans.  

Trump also has some strong allies in the online gambling community.  This is not to say that casino owners and the resort uber-wealthy have his ear and overly influence policy – but it might be a reason to prompt a more liberal approach to online gambling from the White House.  

The president is also likely to be lured by the comparisons with other countries, who just happen to be beating American online casinos to the profit.  He hates the idea that the US is an underdog, and this is exactly what the online gaming community represents state-side. The UK has a mature online gaming community and permissive laws that allow for the consumer to choose. Although the American online casinos saw growth of 9% – this is nothing in comparison to the UK, the rest of Europe – Asia – oh – and the rest of the world.  How long will Trump tolerate this situation?

Main Street Demands

The biggest prompt to lawmakers to go in a different direction comes from Main Street.  Ordinary Americans have expressed a high interest in online gambling – even in the restrictive world of US legal frameworks.  Wherever there is an online casino the average American can use – they are finding it and giving it a go. With more liberal laws, this will only get easier – offering the potential for huge financial growth and a massive win for the American economy.

The online casino site owners are looking at the uptick in Atlantic City and New Jersey in the early part of this year with some envy and some frustration.  Operators know that with help from the regulators they could be cashing in on the trend towards online gaming. It is not as if there is a lack of understanding and research into the impact of online gambling.  The mature markets in other Western countries show America that this is a safe and sustainable market that could pay dividends for the economy.

Overall

The online casino industry is on the rise.  The sector has seen an impressive rise in revenue over the last few years.  And yet, the industry is one of unrealised potential. Look to the rest of the world to see what can happen if legislators sit up, take notice and ease regulations.  It might be the case that investors see the online casinos as potential future frustrations – of a possible fortune fettered. However, all the signs suggest that as the market matures, and laws become increasingly liberal, that the online casino is the best place to put your stake.

 

Disclaimer: This is a guest post and it doesn’t represent the views of IWB.

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