What to Expect if You Want to Start an Online Casino Business in the US
Online gambling in the United States has been a controversial subject in the past few years. It is a constant debate whether online casinos should be legalized in different parts around the US, but, up to now, only New Jersey, Nevada and Delaware managed to regulate some sort of online gambling activities. Even so, some operators who started an online casino business have not reached the initial revenue target that they hoped for, taking into consideration that New Jersey only generated 12% of the predicted revenue, which was $1 billion.
Gaming insiders believe that the forecasts were actually too optimistic, and the online gaming industry was slowly growing, but not expanding after more than 2 years of internet gambling in the three states. The poor revenue results could even have an impact on the expansion of the industry in other American states, if regulators believe that online casinos would not generate significant revenue for the state coffers.
Even so, according to the Gambling Compliance based in San Francisco, California or Pennsylvania could be next on the list to allow operators to start online casino businesses on their territory, starting next year. New York and Mississippi could also take steps towards legalizing internet gambling during the next years.
Despite the fact that online gaming didn’t generate the expected results, New Jersey, Nevada and Delaware still raked in significant revenue from offering online gaming to US residents. New Jersey took in no less than $122 million in its first year after the new gambling legislation came into force.
Delaware generated $1.4 million for the fiscal year 2014, and $1.5 million in 2015. Nevada has not reported gaming revenue separately at the end of 2104, taking into consideration that it only offers online poker, which is an incredibly small part of the multi-billion land-based gaming industry in the state. Gaming insiders say that online poker is the most popular online gaming activity, which could attract major poker companies to join the market soon.
Operators who started an online casino business were also faced with the problem of players not being able to fund their accounts due to the reluctance of banks towards processing online gambling transactions. Even so, at this point in time, Visa is approving 62% of gaming transactions, while MasterCard is approving 70%.
The technology used to ensure that players are actually within the states have also proved to be effective, due to the fact that no more than two players were found to successfully gamble from outside the state of New Jersey since online gambling became legal in this state, in 2013. The money from these players’ accounts were confiscated.
Online gambling has also been a great opportunity for operators who owned land-based casinos in Atlantic City and also started online casino businesses. In the past few years, the once-thriving land-based gaming industry in New Jersey was struggling with significant revenue losses, but operators who decided to remain in the industry and open online gaming sites managed to remain on the market.
We can’t say for sure if online gambling will expand in the United States in the near future. There are several factors to take into consideration, including the fact that the Congress is making efforts to ban internet gambling on a national level. Besides that, Sheldon Adelson, the influential casino mogul, has continuously campaigned against online gaming due to the fact that this industry supposedly ruins land-based casinos.
With all these impediments, the industry is still growing, even if not as fast as it was predicted. Illegal online gambling in the US is still happening, and the best way to ensure that people are not accessing illegal websites is for regulators to create a stable, fair system that would allow players to gamble safely, while also allowing casinos to generate significant revenue that could be used by the state for other purposes, such as funding education programs.
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