The rise of iGaming in the United States and its impact on Virginia
Online gambling in the United States is not a new thing. Residents of the country have been playing at online casino sites for years thanks in large part to offshore iGaming operators. The situation has since changed with the arrival of legal and locally-regulated online gambling in various state jurisdictions across the country.
For a while, it was all about gradual improvement and development. However, the past two years fast-tracked some of that growth. This is because the demand for online gambling services in the US surged significantly as land-based casinos closed their doors or shut down. It was an important move that set a lot of things in motion. The result was a massive shift in the US gambling landscape.
The current situation
While it can be said that the iGaming sector is going through a revival of sorts, it was already off to a solid start. Leading up to now, the country has made tremendous strides that gamblers in a handful of states are enjoying. At the end of 2020, a total of five states have already fully legalized online gambling. Today, there are six states where various forms of online gambling including online casino games and poker are offered legally. These include New Jersey, Delaware, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Michigan and West Virginia.
These are more or less the benchmarks for potential gambling markets in other states. This is evident from all the attention that they have been getting from stakeholders in the sector. Some of the key factors under consideration include the amount of revenue that the legal iGaming industries in those states generate. Pennsylvania’s online casinos, for instance, have been doing very well.
Other important factors include the tax revenue as well as the number of jobs that the sector has been able to create. Besides that, the COVID-19 pandemic also showed several states that the iGaming industry can be a great place to generate revenue. This was especially true for states that had been solely relying on retail casinos.
Where Virginia fits in
Virginia happens to be one of the states where the most changes are expected. The state has been taking legal and regulated gambling very seriously. That’s because its lawmakers have had time to analyze their potential. The legalization and eventual arrival of various online betting activities is proof that the sector is set to pay off big time.
It has been barely over a year since sports betting went live in Virginia. Gamblers can bet on sports either online or at land-based sportsbooks. That is a great start. Now, there are already early reports of the construction of brick-and-mortar casinos in Virginia. Online casinos, on the other hand, seem to be lost in that conversation. The only options seem to be the sweepstakes sites and some social casino sites. These will, of course, not appeal to the modern real money online gambler.
For real money action, many gamblers in Virginia still rely on offshore online gambling sites. Considering how big the sector is, that is yet another area that the state is losing out on. It is hard to believe that the lawmakers and various stakeholders have not taken note of this. Hopefully, the arrival of various casino operators in the state should nudge it towards the next development which is a full-fledged iGaming sector.
What the future holds
Like many industries, online gambling has undergone a lot of changes ever since its launch. The evolution of the sector has made it into the behemoth that it is today. Still, that is just part of its journey as it is expected to go even further in the future. Many casino operators and investors have already picked up on how promising the iGaming niche is.
The only struggles so far seem to be dealing with the laws as well as the need to make the sector transparent and safe. All are very important to the future of iGaming. Viable and legal solutions to those issues must thus be found.
The role of emerging trends
Perhaps the most notable aspect of online gambling today is how futuristic it is starting to feel. Thanks to the sector’s dynamism as well as its investment in innovative solutions, we are beginning to see iGaming in a different light. Technologies such as blockchain are already challenging the centralized nature of traditional gaming systems. Crypto is now offering cheaper, faster and more secure ways for real money online gamblers to move their money.
The United States is in the best position to leverage all these amazing solutions to move its iGaming sector. State authorities in places like Virginia must take the bigger picture into account. That is the only way to advance optimally. The problems of the future require futuristic solutions. iGaming has always been steps ahead in terms of innovative offerings. Backing down is not an option right now.
Story by Sadonna Price