For many years, the US online gambling sector has been plagued by issues such as complexity, change, and legal uncertainty. This has led to some operators being unsure of venturing into the market, as their investments could be at risk due to political changes. In his latest column for Yogonet, iGaming industry consultant Ron Mendelson shares a brief analysis of how the US iGaming market has grown and the industry’s future.
The size and potential of the US iGaming market have left others curious and keen to find a way in. This way has become apparent in the last couple of years as several states have moved to legalize online gambling.
In 2018, a Supreme Court ruling decriminalized online gambling at the federal level, paving the way for states to decide whether to legalize online gambling and how to go about it. In 2022, a number of states have legalized it and welcome license applications, while some others are more hesitant. Others have legalized sports betting while refusing to consider casinos. Some more conservative states have said it will never be legal, despite its benefits for the economy.
States with favorable environments for online gambling in the US include New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Delaware, West Virginia, and Nevada. Those in the process of creating legislation include New York, Indiana, and Illinois, and those who are entirely against it are Utah and Hawaii.
Those in favor of legislating the iGaming industry recognize the great potential of additional tax income that can provide a big boost to the economy. These funds can then be reinvested into essential services. In addition, they believe that regulation will help stamp out black market operations, thus providing support to those who might struggle with a lack of protection. Last but not least, states believe that developing the sector will bring investment and more jobs to their local economies.
By the end of 2020, the US iGaming market was worth $2.1 billion, with an estimated CAGR of over 17% in the next five years. Within this growth rate, sports betting will be the primary driver, followed by poker and lotto. Casino games, including tables and slots, still have a lot of catching up to do, but the potential is there.
So which EU companies have made the leap across the Atlantic?
Irish mega-brand Flutter Entertainment and its brand FanDuel are doing well in the US, with revenue of $1.9 billion and more than 1.5 million monthly users. In fact, the US is now its second biggest market, and the company has launched a number of new products and features focused on sports betting. Flutter has big plans for the future and is ready to expand into new states as it becomes possible.
This brand is synonymous with online gambling, and after being found in the UK in 2020, it has recently expanded to the US- in particular, New Jersey, Colorado, Ohio, and New York. It does not enjoy the same slice of the market as Flutter or US brands like BetMGM but is most definitely laying the foundations for future operations in more states.
Entain, which owns Coral and Ladbrokes in the US, entered a partnership with MGM to create BetMGM. As one of the largest iGaming companies in the world, the company also operates in Canada, where it handles more than 70 million monthly transactions. Using MGM’s user base and its EU experience, it entered the market in a pole position and has made significant progress in market share.
What about the future?
The US online gambling sector is set to continue growing, and more states are likely to legislate in favor of the industry. General growth worldwide and more interest in eSports, fantasy sports, liver dealers, AI, and crypto gambling will also help the market move forward. Most US stakeholders are optimistic that there will be no legislative roadblocks in the future, but many have eyes on the legal status of card games and slots.
As for Fast Offshore, while we do not offer services to companies operating in the US, we work with many others to set up online gambling companies. Our team has assisted startups and established brands in gaining licenses, incorporating companies, structuring, payment, and compliance. We also assist in all ongoing corporate maintenance matters, offering a full A-Z service. Whether you are looking for a turnkey solution or one that is tailored precisely to you, contact a member of our team today for further information!