When it comes to online gambling and sports betting, each state has its own rules, regulations and legalities.
Sports betting has been widely legalized across the United States, but online gambling still remains rather scarce from state to state.
Much of the hesitancy is fueled by a fear that offering online gambling as an option will pull people away from casinos. Some may prefer to test their luck on the couch, while others enjoy the ambiance of a busy casino.
Gambling at home does not provide the same rush, especially for those who favor playing games, such as blackjack, with others.
Many skeptics of internet gambling fear that the option to play from home will cause a decrease in casino foot traffic. The concern of internet gambling destroying in-house casinos has been studied by experts, including Jane Bokunewicz, director of the Lloyd Levenson Institute at Stockton University.
Bokunewicz noted through her studies that in-house casinos and internet gambling actually complement each other, with growth simply happening at a slower pace. Richard Schwartz, CEO of Rush Street Interactive, backed up these claims.
“New Jersey proved it,” said Schwartz, per The Associated Press. “Casino revenue after the pandemic has stabilized, and online revenue is setting new records.”
For the few states in the country that have given online gambling a go, the amount of revenue brought in proves its success.
Those states have accumulated a combined $16.3 billion in revenue, according to the American Gaming Association.
As of today, the six states that have legalized online casino gambling are New Jersey, Connecticut, Delaware, Pennsylvania, Michigan and West Virginia.
Nevada has tested the waters with online poker — and Rhode Island passed an online casino bill, expected to go into effect by March 2024.
Online gambling essentially consists of all the games found at physical casinos, maybe even more, from bingo and slot machines, to table games like blackjack, roulette, craps and poker.
Online sports betting has been increasingly popular over the years and is now widely available, with companies like DraftKings and FanDuel dominating the online gambling space.
At this time, there are over 30 states offering some type of online sports betting to users.
“The volume of wagering, the interest from people, the excitement surrounding it as an entertainment option shows the power and reach of the internet,” said David Rebuck, director of the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement.
“We were able to do it in a responsible, professional way that avoided embarrassment and scandal.”
Those on board with online gambling say that because federal pandemic stimulus funding is ending, states are going to be on the hunt for new ways to earn tax revenue. This alone could cause online gambling to be legalized in more states across the country.
Whether internet gambling will pick up steam in coming years is still a question without an answer. The method of gambling could benefit those who simply do not want to go to the casino, or beginners ready to place wagers on table games with less pressure.
As of now, speculation seems to be rather high, with most states choosing to keep gambling as an in-person affair.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.