In 2018, the US Supreme Court overturned the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act. The ruling cleared the way for all states to create laws that govern sports betting in their jurisdictions. By the end of 2022, 36 states and Washington D.C. had legalized sports betting.
At least 5 states, including Georgia, Kentucky, Minnesota, Missouri, and North Carolina, are expected to legalize sports betting in 2023. Legislators seem to have finally embraced sports betting legalization, but unfortunately, the internet casino sector seems forgotten.
Internet casino legalization is yet to gain attention
So far, only six states have a legal iCasino sector. They are New Jersey, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Connecticut, and West Virginia. New Jersey online casino sites were legalized in 2013, being the first in the industry. As of December 2022, there were 30 online casinos in the state. Combined, the iGaming sector in the state generated $ 1 billion in gross revenue. Regardless of the good performance, legislators are yet to give attention to the sector.
Progress might seem to have hit a dead-end but industry watchers Eilers & Krejcik Gaming has a different opinion. Recently, the research and consulting firm noted the U.S. online casino sector might have reached a plateau meaning there might not be further growth. However, this is just a pause, and the sector will pick up again.
Richard Schwartz, CEO of Rush Street Interactive, says the sector, including land-based casinos, is heavily relying on funding to push for action from legislators. Only money will help the sector lobby for iGaming legislation, and stakeholders have shown greater support for the first time ever.
Wooing legislators to pass laws
Richard says the iGaming sector will begin to spend more money to woo lawmakers to see the benefit that passing iGaming legislation would bring to the states. According to Rebecca Giden, the Director of Policy for Eilers & Krejcik, there has been a lack of aggressiveness from stakeholders in the casino sector. They have hired the best programmers to design attractive games but have done little to push for legislation.
Surprisingly, several cultural barriers still exist in the 21st century, and many legislators are still opposed to allowing gambling in their states. They fail to see the benefits in terms of revenue.
Several states have shown interest in passing iGaming laws
All is not lost, though, amid fast-changing trends in iGaming. New York State Senator Joseph Addabbo says the state is yet to recover from slowed economic growth triggered by the pandemic. Regardless, he says the state is losing a lot of iGaming revenue to neighbors such as PA, NJ, and MI, who have already legalized the sector.
NY Legislators, including the governor, are ready to pass the laws and tap from iGaming revenue. NY is not alone, as lawmakers in states such as Illinois, Iowa, and Indiana are also willing to engage and create legalization bills. The wheels are already rolling across the states, and stakeholders view iGaming as a profitable sector in the long term.