The Next US States to Offer Online Gambling: The Debate Continues

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At the beginning of March 2024, Rhode Island became the seventh US state to launch online gambling. While it’s been a slow start, there is an optimistic future ahead for further states to join the online gambling race, with panelists of the iGaming industry suggesting it may happen sooner than you think. 

Anyone who has been following online gambling regulations in the US knows just how much of a struggle it has been to get the ball rolling. The pushback from the government and brick-and-mortar casinos has been immense, leaving many avid iGaming lovers hesitant to join in on the fun. 

US States Offering Online Gambling

Sports betting has been on the fast track for legalization in most states. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for online gambling. States offering online casino games include Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, West Virginia, Michigan, and the newly added Rhode Island. Nevada gets an honorable mention as it offers internet poker. However, when one sees the astronomical amount of online casino games, internet poker doesn’t really cut it. 

Luckily, real money casino enthusiasts have options, no matter where they’re located. According to casino expert Vlad Grindu, some of the best real money online casinos are accessible to players across the entire US, even in states with restricted online gambling. By wagering via offshore international sites, players living in states with strict wagering laws can still join the fun. 

However, some states would prefer to keep the wagering within state borders, and as such, there are a few likely candidates that may regulate online gambling next. 

Which States Are Set to Regulate Online Gambling Next? 

The forum held in March 2024 had many speculating on the next states to open up to the world of online casinos. Many predicted that Maryland and New York would be next up. However, most agreed that the legislation surrounding online casinos in the US was a tough nut to crack. While 38 states allow online sports betting, online casinos are a different ballgame. 

The issue seems to lie with the concern for brick-and-mortar casinos and how online casinos may overtake revenue. However, most in the iGaming industry know that while online casinos compete fiercely, there are also many aspects that complement the in-person gaming experience. For instance, in Pennsylvania, four brick-and-mortar casinos opened after the state began offering online casino games. 

Online gambling opens users up to a world of entertainment that may entice them to explore in-person casino experiences. This is largely due to the increasingly popular live dealer games, where users are involved in real-time casino games online. 

Not only that, but live dealer games also create jobs, something recognized by the Maryland state legislature. A pending bill explains that online gambling could offer a decreased tax rate for operations offering live dealer games, creating more jobs in the state. 

While it might be easy for some to merely push online casinos aside, sticking to their guns that it may be detrimental to brick-and-mortar establishments, it’s difficult to ignore the positive aspects that online gambling can bring to the economy. According to Statista, the revenue of online gambling in the US is set to reach an astronomical $23 billion in 2024. On top of that, revenue has a projected compound annual growth rate of 8.86% between 2024-2029. 

So, while tensions may be running high, the numbers don’t lie. There is some serious money to be made by regulating online gambling in the US. Some at the forum speculated that California may also be joining the race for online casinos in the US. If you’re talking about money, California would be set as one of the leading states for online gambling revenue. The size of the state, along with the tax dollars, California would certainly give other states a run for their money. However, some think it's all too good to be true, believing that the state is far from reaching an agreed legislation for online gambling in California. 

Why Regulating Online Gambling in the US Is So Slow

The forum brought up some interesting ideas on where the pushback may be coming from. While the younger generation appears to have a full grasp of what online casinos could do for the US economy, traditionalists are merely not in tune with the iGaming industry. This is an understandable argument, considering the pace at which the industry is growing and the ever-changing landscape. 

Cryptocurrencies are fast becoming one of the most popular ways to enjoy online gambling. Crypto betting is on the rise, with many choosing to use currencies like Bitcoin, Litecoin, and Ethereum. Currencies like these are changing the way people use online gambling platforms, something which may put traditionalists off due to a lack of understanding of the industry. The evolving online gambling landscape is fascinating, with cryptos showing just how quickly the nature of the online gambling world can change, creating a better experience for all users. 

Crypto gambling is offering some of the most secure online casinos, particularly for those looking for anonymity. This is one aspect that needs to be considered when looking at brick-and-mortar establishments, especially as cybercrime and hacking cases increase. While traditional in-person play may be what most are used to, it doesn’t provide the best experience for everyone. Some prefer to be at home and remain anonymous, but that shouldn’t prevent them from taking part in the gambling experience. 

While the debate is ongoing as to whether the US will loosen its grip on online casino legislation, it’s difficult to understand the reasoning behind it. Online casinos are now, more than ever, safe, secure, and on the trajectory to remain a global sensation. In another Statista report, the global revenue for the online casino market is set to reach $36.69 billion in 2024. With numbers like that, there is no doubt that online casinos are here to stay. It’s merely a waiting game to see which of the next US states choose to hop on the bandwagon. 

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