Lots of good news for the iGaming industry in the US this year. What will 2021 hold?
2020 has been a difficult year for many industries around the US. Many restaurants and bars remain shuttered or are operating at half capacity. Airlines have furloughed thousands of employees. And, we have all had to change the way we do business in ways that months ago had always been the norm.
However, there has been one industry that has seen just the opposite trend this year; online casinos, also known as iGaming.
States that have legalized online casinos (especially New Jersey and Pennsylvania) have continued to see increased tax revenues coming in from the iGaming industry. And it has been a much needed relief.
Because of the ongoing pandemic, states have seen a continuous loss in revenue from their usual sources, especially states that usually rely on land-based casinos. This loss in revenue is leading many states to huge budget deficits and have many governors considering drastic funding cuts to necessary programs like education and transportation.
But in states with online casinos, it is a different story.
In November, the state of New Jersey saw over $90 million in revenue brought in from the iGaming industry. This brings their current annual total revenue to over $870 million. While it may not make up for the total losses the state may be seeing from the closures and restrictions, it certainly helps fill gaps in areas where it is much needed.
With New Jersey showing the rest of the country the benefits of legalizing a well regulated iGaming industry, it’s not surprising to see other states like West Virginia and Michigan following suit.
Michigan is expected to go live with their first online casinos in January of 2021. FanDuel and DraftKings are already gearing up for their big launch by giving out extremely generous welcome bonuses to players who register now.
As more states begin to seek for new sources of revenues, the question on everyone’s mind is, “Which state is next?”
With more states legalizing online casinos, the iGaming industry in America is booming and there’s no end in sight as we head into 2021.
Investors seem to be most interested in companies they believe have the most potential to grow in the coming year. The big winner this year was Penn National Gaming Inc who saw over a 500% increase in stock price. It truly is an unprecedented time for iGaming in the US.
A lot depends on what happens in the US regarding the coronavirus and vaccinations. At the current rate of vaccination, the US won’t be at an adequate rate for nearly a decade. And that could continue to spell trouble for land-based casinos.
Other factors might be that these customers that once flocked to brick and mortar buildings have now found a new convenience with the online counterparts. We see our habits evolving around this in how we eat, how we shop, and now how we gamble.
So if things begin to return back to normal by next summer, things will be dependent on the behaviors, wants, and needs of the customer. Will players flock back to their favorite casinos when they reopen? Or will they continue to enjoy playing their favorite games from the comfort of their own homes? Only time will tell.
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