Despite revenue losses in brick-and-mortar casinos as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, online gambling is hitting new jackpots. In fact, according to data assembled by the American Gaming Association, iGaming generated nearly $24 billion in wagers in the first 10 months of this year, with more than half coming from casino games and the remainder from sports betting.
The popularity of iGaming has put pressure on state lawmakers to legalize regulated casinos, with New York at the forefront of this movement. While iGaming has yet to launch in the Empire State, it seems inevitable that New York online casinos will become a reality sooner rather than later.
In order for a casino to offer iGaming, it must meet certain criteria, including a minimum age of 21, responsible gambling programs, and other safeguards to protect players. Most of these requirements are similar across the states that legalize iGaming, although there are some subtle differences that may affect how each site operates its operations. For example, many online casinos limit the number of times that a player can play in a single session. Others restrict the maximum amount that a person can win or lose per day, week or month.
Most states that allow iGaming have also enacted responsible gambling measures, such as self-exclusion programs. While these programs aren’t foolproof, they can help gamblers avoid financial problems by limiting the time and money they spend on the game. These programs also provide an opportunity for a player to contact a support team and discuss their problem.
Aside from the regulatory requirements, a state that wants to allow iGaming must decide whether to prohibit online gambling completely or if it will permit specific forms of the games. For example, Utah has a century-old blanket ban on gambling and recently bolstered restrictions on online casino and sports betting sites that are not operated by local businesses. In those states that do allow iGaming, technology tools such as geofencing are used to ensure that a gambler is within the state’s boundaries when placing bets.
Currently, only five states have legalized iGaming: Nevada, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware and West Virginia. And while these states are able to form interstate compacts to share players, federal law still prohibits real-money online gambling.
Even so, the future of iGaming looks brighter than ever. More and more states are embracing these games, and with the growing popularity of online casino gaming, it’s likely that the trend will continue into 2024 and beyond. This is especially true in places like New York, which is a tourist Mecca and has a large population that enjoys gambling. If the state legalizes iGaming, it could bring in huge revenue that would help to ease the state’s financial woes.