Need for education

A panel of gambling industry experts at the SBC Summit North America has called state lawmakers’ grasp of iGaming into question.

better educate state lawmakers about the benefits

The panel was chaired by President of the National Council of Legislators from Gaming States, Delegate Shawn Fluharty. Panelists included representatives from Bally’s, FanDuel, Fanatics Betting and Gaming, and Rush Street Interactive. The experts agreed their industry needs to step up its game and better educate state lawmakers about the benefits of the iGaming vertical.

Online casino, stated FanDuel’s Senior Director, Head of State Government Relations Cesar Fernandez, represents important new revenue for states, especially since post-pandemic aid is coming to an end. While 38 US states and Washington DC have legalized sports betting, only seven states have allowed legal online casino games.

Cannibalization concerns

One of the starkest concerns non-iGaming market states have over iGaming is that it might cannibalize the business of brick-and-mortar casinos. Maryland was so concerned about cannibalization that it commissioned a study to investigate. While confirmed that any such effect would be minimal, it still got in the state’s way of progressing its online casino bill.

Panelist Fernandez contrasted Maryland with New Jersey. Since the latter’s iGaming market went legal in 2013, Fernandez stated, revenue for brick-and-mortar casinos has increased by more than 7.5%.

just had its best brick-and-mortar revenue month ever”

Pennsylvania—another legal iGaming state along with Connecticut, Delaware, Michigan, Rhode Island, and West Virginia— “just had its best brick-and-mortar revenue month ever” in state history, the FanDuel exec added.

Not all gaming executives are, however, smitten with iGaming. Cordish Gaming President Rob Norton startled many Wednesday by going along with the cannibalization argument. “We’re setting ourselves up for our own failure,” he stated. He claims that since Maryland approved online sports betting, in-person sports betting revenue in Cordish’s “Maryland Live! casino declined by 65% and has stayed there.”

Ways to go

Citing a daily decrease of around 7,000 people entering his Maryland brick-and-mortar casino since the advent of mobile sports betting began, Norton posited this was one reason why the online casino gaming vertical wasn’t universally popular.

“Last year, eight states considered i-gaming,” ABC News reported Cordish as stating. “Not one passed.”

While chair Fluharty admitted sports betting “took off like a rocket,” iGaming is still shuffling along in its dust. Despite this, many at the SBC Summit believe the vertical to be the future of gambling.

Bally’s Corporation Vice President Elizabeth Suever stated that millenials and younger generations “are comfortable basically running their entire life off their cell phone. This is where gaming is going.”

The post US iGaming Legalization Lag Under Fire as Industry Experts Claim Lawmakers Need Educating appeared first on Vegas Slots Online News.

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