Many Canadian cities are debating the pros and cons of investing in privatized casinos, but south of the border, Americans are recognizing the value of online casinos. The US stood firmly against legalized online gambling for years, and passed the Unlawful Internet Betting Act in 2006 to symbolize that opposition.
But over the years, American players and state governments softened their opposition to internet betting. Nevada, Delaware, and New Jersey legalized online gambling within their borders, and at least half a dozen other states are debating whether to follow suit. As laws are liberalized and more online casinos open across the country, the market will be very lucrative for the economies of many states, which ultimately benefits the national economy as well.
Morgan Stanley, one of the world’s leading financial services firms, recognized the growing acceptance of online gambling in America, and boldly predicted that the market will be worth over $9.3 billion by 2020. The firm notes that its prediction is considered a “conservative market estimate,” hinting that they predict the market could become more valuable than forecast.
The forecasted figure is significant because it significantly trumps the combined revenue from all casinos based in Las Vegas and Atlantic City, which were long considered the gambling capitals of the country. While Las Vegas retains its top of market position, the Atlantic City casinos lost millions in revenue over the last few years, which was one of the main reasons why the New Jersey government legalized online gambling. Morgan Stanley predicts that as online casinos grow within legalized states and negotiate interstate betting where laws are permitted – as is already the case with Nevada – more states will recognize the importance of embracing the digital gambling era.
New Jersey and Delaware are likely to amend their laws to include interstate betting to compete with Nevada. Morgan Stanley notes other states will require their own online gambling laws to support their economies. The money from online gambling sites will support the states where servers are based, which other states must allow in their borders, or risk losing millions of taxable gambling revenue to their neighbours.
As a result, Morgan Stanley’s prediction may be accurate, or it could be conservative. But the market will continue to grow, regardless of the federal government’s position.