“US Sports Betting Soars While Internet Gambling Lags Behind”,

As US sports bets boom, internet gambling is slow to expand

Despite the rapid growth of sports betting in the United States, internet casino wagering is only legal in six states, while 33 states and Washington D.C. offer legal sports betting. Industry executives and legislators at the East Coast Gaming Congress in Atlantic City offered various explanations for why internet gambling has yet to expand beyond a handful of eastern states. Some in the gambling industry and state houses believe that authorizing internet gambling will cannibalize revenue that would otherwise go to brick-and-mortar casinos. However, the experience of states like New Jersey has shown that not to be the case.

Internet gambling brought in $1.6 billion in New Jersey in 2022, up more than 21% from a year earlier compared to Atlantic City’s nine casinos winning nearly $2.8 billion from in-person gamblers, an increase of 9% from the previous year. While Indiana state Sen. Jon Ford said his state tried unsuccessfully to pass internet gambling this year, Howard Glaser, global head of government affairs with gambling equipment manufacturer Light & Wonder, said efforts to expand internet gambling are “dead in every state this year.” The disparity is surprising because internet gambling brings in much more money than sports betting. In West Virginia, it takes three months of sports betting revenue to match a single month of online casino revenue.

Panelists agreed that New York and Indiana are among the states most likely to add internet gambling in the next two years. Other possibilities include Iowa and Illinois, while Texas remains a longshot possibility, according to Duane Bouligny, a managing director with Wells Fargo Bank. Siobhan Lane, CEO of Gaming for Light & Wonder, said she remains optimistic about the likely expansion of internet gambling, stating, “I-gaming is still in its infancy in the U.S. The revenues being generated in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Michigan are just far too great for other states to ignore for long.”