How can the legalisation of online gambling benefit the US economy?
Since the beginning of the new Millennium, we have seen major growth in what is now considered a super niche, in fact it is a standalone industry worth hundreds of billions globally; it has gradually become the biggest bully in the playground.
That game-changing industry is online gambling and while others are shrinking, this once sleeping giant has stirred from a stupor to dominate and it does not look like stopping anytime soon.
So it begs the question; why has this not been widely legalised in arguably, the globe’s leading superpower? Currently, online gambling is allowed in just five US states; Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Iowa and Nevada, a fact which boggles the minds of executive committees within the industry.
It is easy to recognise the benefits that the legalisation of online gambling would bring to the United States; just simply look across the pond to the United Kingdom – arguably the biggest online gambling market in the world, however, there are also a number of European countries which can also stake a claim, such as the region of Scandinavia, Germany and Turkey.
Between April 2018 and March 2019, the GGY (Gross Gaming Yield) for the industry in the UK amounted to £14.4 billion according to a report issued by the UKGC (United Kingdom Gambling Commission), with a considerable amount of that being pumped back into the country’s economy in taxes and spent on the public sector.
According to an Oxford Economics report, that was published in 2017, it was predicted that just from the legalisation of sports betting (e.g. being able to bet on sports in casinos and at racetracks – more widely available than online gambling), would create between 125,000 and 152,000 jobs across America.
Sports betting is available on most American online gambling sites and forms one part of their revenue streams, with the others being slots and table games, while others also offer bingo as well.
Job creation in the online gambling industry if this was legalised across the whole of the country would be substantially more than that figure and considering that the American population is larger than the UK (roughly 68 million), almost 330 million according to the Population Review, this indicates that it could easily become the largest online gambling market in the world.
With President, Donald Trump also having his own commercial interests in gambling, as well as knowing that job creation is a big factor for the American people, it could be one policy change that he may well need to lean on during his re-election campaign.
In the UK, many physical casinos have a similar online brand, something that has started to happen in New Jersey, with quite a few casino resorts in Atlantic City creating online equivalents and reaping the rewards; Golden Nugget Casino being one of these.
There are substantially more physical casinos in America than the UK, of which are also brands in their own right, so the opportunity for online expansion is huge and would almost certainly create a significant amount of jobs. Each brand would also need headquarters for their online operations, which even creates jobs in other industries such as construction.
Furthermore, already established brands from Europe will have recognised the potential and will be eyeing up land to expand their presence to America, indeed, William Hill already having successfully done so. Invariably this would lead to more jobs, however, not just internally.
Following the online gambling industry growth in the UK among operators, there followed a growth in specialist suppliers, from marketing firms to affiliates; this again, is another considerable sector where the online gambling industry can benefit the economy
Technology graduates coming out of Sanford University (San Francisco, California) would also have another viable industry to choose from, other than banking and IT, especially considering the predicted mass move towards machine learning within iGaming.
Ultimately, the question that the bigwigs in America should be asking themselves is, what can the online gambling industry do for your country? Not, what can we do for the online gambling industry?