Most people don’t realize how complicated the American relationship with gambling is. On the one hand, there are huge casino complexes in places like Atlantic City, Las Vegas and on numerous Indian Reservations. However, these are often the only places where the activity is legal. In most states gambling and sports betting are heavily restricted, if not outright illegal. And as for online casinos, until a few years ago these were a very touchy subject.
Because of a law from 1961 called the Federal Wire Act, betting transactions across state lines were forbidden. Of course, there was no internet back in 1961, so it was mainly applied to phone betting. The idea was to hamper money laundering operations, which were sending dirty money across state lines to ‘clean’ it through betting parlors. But now that so many transactions and activities happen online, money crosses state lines much more easily, yet online gambling remains banned in most states.
Over the last decade, there has been growing pressure for an update of the Federal Wire Act in light of these technological developments, but even that hasn’t made things straightforward.
The review initially found that the Wire Act only applied to sports betting, which made all other forms of online gambling legal. But this decision was overturned in 2018, with an appeal the following year. The Department of Justice launched another appeal this year, which was quickly shut down.
Since the 2019 decision to make online gambling and sports betting legal, more than half of the US states have passed or are currently voting on bills which would legalize some form of online gambling within their borders. As such, the American gambling market is going through the biggest changes it has ever seen, with big online operators finally able to enter the market.
The US gambling market mostly consists of land-based casinos.
If you compare the US market to other international gambling markets in their infancy, and base this on where these markets are now, it’s fair to assume there will be a boom in gambling in the next couple of years.
Other markets that have grown relatively slowly in this industry have been hampered by older technology. But the US market has the benefit of not only high-speed data, but an exciting list of existing business prepared to move in and a ready-made client base of eager gamers.
However, the problem that US companies have is that they don’t have the ready-to-go products needed to compete with established, multinational operators. Many of these existing online casino operators are already huge success stories in other markets, such as the UK gambling sector.
By contrast, most Americans won’t be familiar with these international names, so knowing where to start and which operators are the best could be difficult. In states like New Jersey, fantastic deals have been reached to see US brands merging with global companies and marketing their software under a name which US players will recognize. This has huge benefits for both sides and will ensure that the market continues to grow at an astounding rate.
To squash any competition and become a market leader in the industry, America should try and follow in the footsteps of the UK. There, online gambling has been legal since the late 1990s, regulated by the UK Gambling Commission. This regulation requires casinos to pass certain checks and conditions before they are granted a license to operate.
This ensures that players receive the highest quality services from providers like 888 Casino. This esteemed operator offers an unparalleled selection of games, including multiple versions of roulette, poker, blackjack, baccarat and online slots. Plus, you can play at this UK online casino with confidence that your details and money are safe.
Statisticians predict that the US gambling market could reach $245 billion in five years, once the market is fully open. To see just how quickly this is moving, we can look to one of the main areas that pushed for the law change: New Jersey. In 2018, the state declared gambling profits of $29.4 million, a year later they declared $300 million – that’s a ten-fold increase in just 12 months, all due to the legalization of sports betting. Now that other states are following the same course of action, they should see similar hikes in profit – and that’s when the boom will happen.
19 states have now fully legalized sports betting, and a further five have approved bills and are waiting for them to be launched. Maryland, Louisiana and South Dakota are all close to having their bills passed after gaining approval by voters last November. That’s more than half the country that will have legalized sports betting by the end of the year.
Other states are in preliminary stages of consultation too. Only a handful of states have no intention of offering legalized sports betting or casino provision, so it looks like the market will be as open as possible in just a few years.
The US gambling market may have existed in pockets for decades, but it’s still very much in its infancy compared to other markers. However, a countrywide explosion of new legislation over the past few years, and in years to come, will soon see the US mature into a global leader. With online gambling set to take the states by storm, there’ll soon be no holding back on gambling options for players.