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Why is Online Casino Gambling Slow to Materialize in the US?

May 10, 2019

While the sports betting industry, online and otherwise, is experiencing explosive growth in the US, the same cannot be said of online casino gambling. One would think there's a congruence between these gambling options, but that's clearly not the case in the eyes of gambler who aren't really rallying around the idea of being able to play casino games online for real cash.

To date, only two states (New Jersey and Delaware) have been willing to offer online casino gambling to it's residents. There's a couple of other states, namely West Virginia and Pennsylvania, that seem poised to follow suit, but for some inexplicable reason, they seem in no hurry to move forward. 

These delays are even more intriguing given the level of success New Jersey has had with its online casino gambling operations. While online poker is barely moving the revenue needle, online casino gambling is a growing at an exponential rate. Revenue from online casino gambling (excluding poker) hit a record high of $37.2 million during the month of March. That's a whopping 24% increase over February’s number of $29.9 million. Since online casino gambling was introduced in New Jersey, online casinos have generated over $1 billion in revenues, which translates to $200 million going into the state's coffers in the form of taxes.

Given numbers like these, it would seem one state after another would be pressing to bring online casino gambling to its residents. However, that's simply not the case. 

The most prominent explanation for this oddity seems to be the approval of sports betting. Sports betting is the shiny new toy each state has to offer its residents. Keeping that in mind, much of the legislation focus is going to sports gambling while everything else has been set on the back burner. 

In an attempt to try to explain why states seem intent on ignoring the success of online casino gambling in New Jersey, Jim Ryan, CEO of Pala Interactive had this to say:

“I am surprised that more US states have not regulated online casino gaming given the experience in New Jersey. That being said, the message is now getting out to state legislators and they have over five years of New Jersey data to consider as they look at the opportunity for their own state.” 

Regardless of what is taking place now, it's a good bet that many states will soon come around to passing online casino gambling legislation. As New Jersey has shown, there's simply too much tax revenue sitting on the table for the taking.


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