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New Regulations in the Casino Industry in 2019

The global online gambling market is a multi-billion-dollar-a-year industry which comprises dozens of countries across hundreds of gambling markets. Various government watchdog authorities, analytics enterprises, and universities are involved in tracking, monitoring, and reporting changes vis-a-vis the casino industry. One of the most highly respected authorities for gambling-related matters is UNLV Center for Gaming Research. The University of Nevada Las Vegas maintains up-to-date records of all aspects of the gambling industry, and serves as a point of call for quantitative and qualitative analysis of the industry. The United States commercial casino gaming: monthly revenues report (released January 2019) details extensive information regarding combined win totals for all US commercial casinos and racing jurisdictions.

For December 2018, the total reported win by the top 5 US states (commercial casino revenue/racino revenue), the year-on-year monthly change for that state, and the total 2018 YTD earnings are reported as follows:

  • Nevada – $999,665,000 à09% up from 2017 (for the year-to-date, Nevada generated $11,912,658,000)
  • Pennsylvania – $277,357,227 à28% up from 2017 (for the year-to-date, Pennsylvania generated $3,248,681,390)
  • New Jersey – $258,663,271 à96% up from 2017 (for the year-to-date, New Jersey generated $2,845,196,713)
  • Louisiana – $273,361,156 à -1.20% down from 2017 (for the year-to-date, Louisiana generated $3,157,206,060)
  • Illinois – $251,200,248 à21% up from 2017 (for the year-to-date, Illinois generated $2,874,815,549)

The UNLV Center for Gaming Research monthly and annual figures help analysts to evaluate the effect of changing regulations in the US gambling industry. For example, the US Supreme Court decision to overturn PASPA in 2018 had an immediate impact on the revenues generated in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Delaware, with many additional US states now in the midst of fast-tracking legislation to permit sports betting online, online casino, or online poker play.

What Does the ‘Global Online Gambling Market by Type’ Report Say?

The 2019 report commissioned by Global Online Gambling Market provides extensive information regarding the growth prospects of the worldwide online gambling industry. The detailed report (report code #12597) provides important qualitative and quantitative analysis of multiple segments of the global online gambling industry, notably poker, casino and sports betting.

The report is applicable for entertainment and commercial purposes and features key market players including NetEnt, GVC Holdings, 888 Holdings, Ladbrokes Coral Group, Fortuna Entertainment Group, Playtech, William Hill, Kindred, Amaya, and Paddy Power Betfair. The report provides analysis on each segment and sub- segment of the online gambling industry, as it pertains to growth prospects, regulatory changes, mergers and acquisitions, predictions, technological advancements, and business objectives.

New regulations are already taking shape in Japan – a key potential online gambling market. A recently released report indicates that the Gaming Standards Association (GSA) is now active in Japan. The purpose of this is to facilitate objective information about the gaming industry, including the technical aspects for the legal framework.

All the reputable United Kingdom casinos online are subjects to monitoring since they aim to prove the credibility on the national online gambling scene and worldwide.

The GSA is an internationally respected organization and it is universally trusted as an objective provider of solutions to participants in the online gaming industry. The purpose of providing insight is to safeguard the integrity of the casino industry and its associated systems to avoid negative externalities such as underage gambling, problem gambling, societal ills, et cetera. This move is perceived as a bellwether to expanded online gambling activities in Japan and Asia Pacific.

Impending Online Gambling Regulations in the United States

Rep. Brandt Iden introduced an online gambling bill in Michigan in 2018. The bill has labored in the state legislature for several months, not gaining much traction with lawmakers. However, news recently broke about Iden filing H 4311 in March. The delay was attributed to two key factors, notably the governor’s budget proposal and freshman lawmakers. Unlike other US states, Michigan state legislators are in session year-round.

Rep. Brand Iden believes that this current proposal will be able to capture as much support as it did in 2018 when it was initially introduced. Since he chairs the Ways and Means committee, Iden is confident that he will get it to advance to other chambers. The bill passed the House but got hamstrung in the Senate until late in 2018. The new Governor, Gretchen Whitmer (Dem) has voiced support for legalized sports betting in the past, so this current bill has better prospects.

Michigan also has another pending bill by Sen. Curtis Hertel (S186). If passed, either of these bills could set the stage for the Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB) to establish a new division for online gambling. Gambling licenses will be available at a cost of $200,000 each and the tax rate is projected at 8%. There is optimism among lawmakers that the incumbent governor is more likely to support online gambling legislation. One of the bugbears in Michigan rests with the newly elected lawmakers who have not yet tackled the issue of online gambling among their constituents.

The Hawkeye State Seeks to Introduce Online Sports Betting Legislation

Iowa is also seeking to introduce online gambling legislation in 2019. This Midwestern state is considering sports betting. What interesting about the Iowa legislation is that the state’s casinos support sports betting. In February 2019, the Senate subcommittee scrutinized Senate study bill 1168 which makes provision for sports betting on NCAA sports, horse racing, and casinos. While the bill allows mobile sports betting and online sports betting, bettors must register at land-based sports books. There are no royalty fees for sports leagues included in the bills, and the legislation also legalizes fantasy sports betting. Iowa is home to a state lottery, Indian casinos, riverboat casinos and more.

West Virginia Looks to Play the Perfect Hand

Online gambling regulations have captivated lawmakers’ attention in the Mountain State. West Virginia lawmakers are working tirelessly to pass legislation for online casino and online poker. Incumbent Governor Jim Justice can legalize online gambling in the state by signing the proposed bills into law. The West Virginia online gambling bill would make online casino and online poker available to all legal-age players (21+) within the state. There are currently 5 operator permits for each of the West Virginia casinos. License fees will cost $250,000 each and are renewable every 5 years for an additional fee of $100,000. Service management licenses and platforms cost $100,000 and supplier licenses are $10,000. The sparsely populated state will not add much in the way of gambling revenue to online casino and online poker, given that it is currently ranked #49 in terms of disposable income, way below the national average.

How Are Key US Lawmakers Interpreting Online Gambling Legislation?

The topic of online gambling legislation is a sticky one at the best of times. There is widespread disagreement among lawmakers, even with those on the same side of the issue. For example, Sen Lindsey Graham, a powerful US Senator is vociferously against all forms of online gambling. He has been that way since 2014. Graham was sponsored by anti-online gambling advocate, Sheldon Adelson who is one of the world’s most powerful casino magnates.

Sen Lindsey Graham and Sen Dianne Feinstein have both opposed the 2011 opinion of the Justice Department which overruled the illegality of online gambling. These two senators support RAWA (Restoration of America’s Wire Act) legislation. Recall that the Justice Department recently opined on the topic of online gambling and stated that Federal Law now considers all forms of online gambling illegal. This has set the proverbial cat among the pigeons for the US online gambling industry, but there are conditions to this new opinion. For example, it says nothing about online gambling within a single state there is no Gamstop like organisations for players’ self-exclusion control.

; it is restricted to interstate gambling compacts. At the time of the opinion reversal in January 2019, the DOJ gave participants 90 days to comply with the new opinion.

Predictions for the Global Online Gambling Market Through 2026

Coherent Market Insights offered in-depth analysis of the global online gambling market. According to this company, the 2017 value of global betting was $46.9 billion. This market research enterprise anticipates that global markets will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 11.4 percent (2018 through 2026). Among the many reasons cited for the sharp uptick in global online gambling revenue is the rapid expansion of the mobile gaming market, notably iOS and Android smartphones and tablets. Other reasons include increasing disposable income among the middle class, widespread Internet penetration, and the use of digital currency to facilitate online gambling activity.

Asia: Thanks to the increasing liberalization of sports betting around the world, particularly the Asia-Pacific region, countries like Hong Kong and Macau, South Korea and Japan are going to be hotbeds of sports betting revenue generation. Increasing security measures will boost the popularity of sports betting and online casino activity. Other factors contributing to the rapid growth of the sports betting industry include the facilitation of reputable payments processing options. EU regulators have been particularly active about increasing the privacy and security frameworks for online gambling, making it much easier to monitor the industry and counter threats.

The Netherlands: The Netherlands is another interesting market for online gaming enthusiasts. Dutch lawmakers have been hard at work on a remote gaming bill with proposals to regulate online gambling. The Dutch Parliament is seeking a two-year cooling off period for any operators who targeted Dutch players through Dutch language websites and their marketing initiatives. Some lawmakers have proposed a five-year blackout for those operators who tried to lure Dutch players to their online casinos. Gambling activity in the Netherlands is governed by KSA (Kansspelautoriteit) and it strictly opposes the running of ads for online operators. Currently, the Dutch gambling market is monopolized by Holland Casino, and several bills are being drafted to allow Holland Casino to apply for an online gambling license.

 How Does Online Gambling Growth Compare to Land-Based Gambling Activity?

Land-based gambling remains the most dominant form of gambling by a long margin. For example, figures from 2016 indicate that overall gambling generated approximately $395 billion, compared to online gambling revenues of approximately $46 billion in the same year. While there is a disparity between these figures, the sharp uptick in online gambling growth has been phenomenal, considering that the 2011 online gambling revenues amounted to $30 billion and the 2011 overall gambling revenues were approximately $312.5 billion.

Careful analysis of the online gambling industry reveals that the Australians suffer the largest gambling losses per adult at $916 per person (2014 figures), and the UK has the lowest losses at $377.83. The biggest gambling enclaves in the world include Macau, the US, the United Kingdom, Australia, and Canada. Statistical analysis from the world’s premier statistics portal, Statista indicates that the global GGY between 2001 – 2019 in billions of dollars has grown from $220 to $495. This represents more than a doubling in 20 years, making it clear that strong growth trends are evident in global gambling.