The USA has experienced a tumultuous relationship with gambling over the years. After scepticism dominated its attitude towards online casinos throughout the 1990s and 2000s, acceptance of the pastime has become gradually more widespread in the last 10 years. Today, all but two states allow their residents to gamble online legally.
Having said that, there are only four states where the sector is fully regulated, meaning all online casino operators must be based in Delaware, Nevada, New Jersey or Pennsylvania. But which of these is top of the pile when it comes to market share of the online gambling industry in the USA?
New Jersey leads the way
While Nevada might be the epicentre of brick-and-mortar casinos through Las Vegas and Reno, New Jersey’s Atlantic City isn’t far behind – and the state is streets ahead when it comes to online gambling. Laying wagers on the internet has been fully legal in New Jersey since 2013 and dozens of competing sites have sprung up in the interim, with HowToBet.com offering interested punters more information about the relative merits of individual casinos.
That competition has served the state well, with online casinos pulling in a cumulative $970.3 million in revenue in 2020. December saw its biggest month to date, recording $99.5 million revenues for the month, which was a 101.6% increase from the same month the previous year. That compensated for a fallow year for land-based casinos, which saw a catastrophic plummet of $1.2 billion in its revenues.
Meanwhile, sports betting has also taken off in the Garden State, with over $6 billion worth of bets laid in 2020 and nearly $400 million in revenue recorded. December was also the most lucrative month in that sector and marked the fifth month running that New Jersey broke nationwide records for bets laid.
Pennsylvania on the rise
The ballooning popularity of online gambling in the States is expected to continue in the coming years, with analysts predicting a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 15.41% until 2025. Pennsylvania looks set to the biggest winner in the near future, given that it’s currently the fastest growing market for online gambling in the country.
It’s hardly surprising that PA’s online gambling sector is expected to surge going forwards. For starters, it has the largest population of any of the four states in which online betting is regulated, with almost 13 million people calling it home. Meanwhile, it recorded the second highest gross gaming revenue in 2017 behind Nevada, signalling the popularity of the pastime in Pennsylvania.
This, coupled with the fact that Pennsylvania was the most recent state to approve online casino operators in its environs, means that the sky is the limit. With just two years of legalised activity under its belt, Pennsylvania has plenty of room to grow and the recent signature of some landmark deals with major players in the industry should see it go from strength to strength in the next few years.
New Jersey is indisputably the king of online casinos at the present time – but the fast pace of growth in nearby Pennsylvania means that it might not be top dog for too long.