Opinion

Online casino and slots show their worth in US igaming mix

Online casino and slots keep a low profile but show their worth as sports betting attracts the headlines.

The US igaming market has very much been focused on sports betting since the repeal of the PASPA two years ago.

This is understandable, not only was PASPA (and its repeal in 2018) very much focused on sports betting, but the vertical has a high media profile and offers viewers action-packed events on which they can bet throughout.

Reams of content

In terms of content, sports betting also lends itself to acres of coverage and is written about, commented upon and scrutinized extensively across US daily newspapers, radio and TV stations.

This also goes for US sportsbooks, as they are able to write, speculate and blog extensively about sportsmen and women.

Covering all topics from form to odds and which parlays could reap the best dividends, betting brands create can generate reams of content to attract consumers and cross-sell them to their interactive gaming tables.

Compare that with the level of coverage online casino and it barely registers when compared to sports betting.

Again, this is understandable: there is only so much that can be written about an online roulette wheel or game of blackjack. In terms of scale and financial volumes however it dwarfs anything sports betting has produced so far.

Scale of revenues

Pennsylvania’s latest figures illustrate the point. September’s $462.8m sports betting handle was record for the state as it joined other record-breaking states like New Jersey, Iowa and Indiana in benefiting from the return of major sporting leagues.

Nonetheless, for all those betting records, Pennsylvania’s online gaming handle, excluding poker, rose 14.1% to $926.8m during September on the previous month’s returns.

In addition, handle for online slots remained flat at $1.1bn in the state, meaning joint handle for online casino games and slots totalled close to $2bn during the month. 

Much of that figure came about through betting customers being cross-sold into online casino games, once again proving how valuable regulating them can be.

Currently only a small number of states have regulated the full range of gaming and betting products, but those figures show the kind of financial contribution they can make to states.

And with the potential return of online poker in Michigan and further afield if other states agree to pool player liquidities, state capitals could soon be benefiting from further gaming volumes.

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Jake Pollard

Jake Pollard is an experienced journalist and editor who has covered the online gaming and betting industry for many years. He has written for the leading media outlets as well as operators and suppliers in the igaming space. His current areas of focus are wide-ranging and include regulatory developments in the US, emerging markets in South America and how European countries are adapting to a decade of igaming regulation.

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