The annual revenue generated by the iGaming market is massive. The global iGaming industry was valued at $57.54 billion in 2021. It is expected to continuously grow each year for at least nine consecutive years. The same is occurring within the United States. In June 2022, Michigan state grossed $136.9 million in total receipts, as reported by Michigan.gov.
These figures prove that the iGaming market is a growing industry, but it is also a complex one. The legal landscape in America for iGaming can be a little confusing, so we’ll break down the industry legalities for more clarity. Read on to learn about the current state of play for iGaming in the U.S.
What is iGaming?
Let’s start off by defining important terms. For this article, let’s define iGaming as an online wagering activity that is based on games of chance. Examples of iGaming may include poker, physical casinos offering online services, and sportsbooks. Some regulators may separate sports betting from iGaming. However, for simplicity, we’ve combined the two and deem them both under wagering activities.
As of this writing, about 30 states have legalized sports betting, but only 21 states allow online betting. Online poker is in an even more ambiguous state as poker legalization is slow but is happening gradually. Currently, only 7 states have legalized state-licensed internet poker: Nevada, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Delaware, Connecticut and West Virginia. Several states, including New York, Indiana, and North Dakota, have considered legislation to legalize online poker. However, the progress is always lengthy.
Interestingly, many of the states that have physical casinos do not allow iGaming. Perhaps, this is the reason that online casinos, such as BetMGM and FanDuel, have been on the rise, too. Please remember that accessing a site that is legal in one state from another state is not legal. This is true even if you are a resident of that state on a trip.
For example, if you are a resident of Nevada and traveled to California, it is not legal to access a Nevada online casino while you are physically located in California. You have to abide by the rules of the state you are physically in.
The Future of iGaming
As we look to the future of iGaming, many things can change overnight. For example, of the 7 states mentioned earlier that have legalized state-licensed internet poker, 2 have yet to issue any business licenses to operate – Connecticut and West Virginia.
It is totally legal for them to operate, and any day they could issue business licenses, and poker sites could be available for all the locals to enjoy. Expansion of iGaming throughout the country could take place at a faster rate, if lawmakers would only step on the gas and allow pending proposals to move forward.
Although iGaming, including sports betting and online poker, are all up for legislation, each state has its own power to regulate each area and decide whether or not to legalize the practice. Be patient and only time will tell if iGaming is allowed in your state if it isn’t already.