US Online Gambling Market Could Be Worth $2 Billion By 2020

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While most in the industry have estimated that the United States online gaming market would be lucrative, the actual amount has been difficult to estimate. A new report from a top research company has taken up the task, however.

According to eGaming Review, Eilers Research estimates that by 2020, the US online gaming market could be worth $1.95 billion. While that may sound like an impressive amount, it is actually lower than other companies have thought. The report cites several reasons why the forecasted industry’s worth might be lower.

“One of the [flaws]we have seen in other market forecasts is that they tend to assume that every state will approve online poker and online casino games,” the report read. “(That is) highly unlikely.” The report stated there would be a huge difference in whether individual states opt for online poker only or embrace the full online casino experience. Finally, the report stated that the current Federal laws preventing states from offering online sports betting would be a factor in holding down potential revenues.

With these issues noted, Eilers Research broke down what the individual states could pull in from regulated online gaming. Eilers stated that California, the largest state in the US, would naturally bring in the most revenues ($1 billion annually) if it based its regulations on the current New Jersey laws. The second largest state would be Florida($500 million) and New York would be third ($400 million) according to the analysis.

There would be winners created among the current crop of casinos. Boyd Gaming, Caesars Entertainment, the Golden Nugget, MGM Resorts International, Pinnacle Gaming, and Penn National Gaming were named as potentially the biggest “winners” of those in the casino industry mostly because these companies have operations spread across the United States that could take advantage once individual states enact laws.

Of the potential players in the Indian gaming arena, such operations as Pechanga, Pala, San Manuel, and United Auburn would be the beneficiaries of a regulated industry.

In a regulated state, individual brick-and-mortar casinos would be the biggest winners, taking an estimated 70% to 80% of the total revenues. Platform providers would account for 10% to 20% of the revenues and poker networks (10% to 15%) would also receive a piece of the pie.

Delaware is the only state that has released any financial information since the opening of its full online casino industry. As of December 1, $3.8 million had been wagered on the First State’s three sites by approximately 2,800 people since the state’s opening in October.

Other estimates vary as to the potential revenues for the US online gaming market. The American Gaming Association estimated that the industry generated $3 billion in 2012, but that was through the currently unregulated offshore market. The financial services company Morgan Stanley estimated in April that a regulated Federal marketplace would be worth what both Atlantic City and the Las Vegas Strip earned in 2012, approximately $9.2 billion.

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