The US online gambling space has undergone radical changes over the past decade.
The unregulated, wild west days of the 1990’s and 2000’s are a thing of the past. After years of stagnation, legal, regulated online gambling is no longer a dream, it’s a reality.
For those of us that lived through the “dark ages,” this is a welcomed change.
But not everyone shares in that joy.
This new reality has brought with it an influx of new analysts and industry observers with unrealistic expectations of the US landscape. For some, legislation of daily fantasy sports, sports betting, casino games, poker or lottery isn’t enough. They expect it to happen on terms they agree with, and anything less is cast as an abject failure.
Fortunately, there are industry veterans like Sue Schneider who can make sense of the situation and explain the complexities of the US online gambling industry.
Schneider has worn many hats in the online gambling universe. She currently serves as the Community Director, Sports Betting Community (SBC), and Editor-at Large, Gaming Law Review.
OPR: Despite the uncertainty of the Wire Act opinion issued by the DOJ, 2019 has been a fairly productive year for online expansion. West Virginia legalized online casino/poker (the fifth state to do so); Michigan appears poised to finish what they started last year; and even Virginia, a historically anti-gambling state passed some enabling legislation that could lead to online legalization next year.
Do you think the US has finally reached a tipping point for online gambling?
Schneider: That’s been an interesting development — additional states are now allowing for more updated distribution channels like mobile and internet. It seems like we’re seeing a second wave after the first set of states that went online.
Is there enough steam to keep moving forward with additional states? I’m not sure.
I think more states will have to get comfortable with allowing mobile sports betting before they allow casino, poker and other products.