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The Rise of Digital Casinos In The West

posted on: Jul 28, 2021

The global online gambling industry is worth $59 billion US dollars and is expected to grow to over $90 billion dollars by the year 2023, with the United States and Canada being two of the most rapidly growing markets. There are a range of factors that have influenced this trend and by looking at these we can begin to predict what the future holds for online casinos in the West.

Why are online casinos increasing in popularity and why is this trend particularly relevant to Western countries like the United States and Canada?

Advancements In Technology

While online casinos have existed since the 1990s, technology has come a very long way over the last three decades and sites like 888 casino can be easily accessed from laptops and smartphones. Better devices mean that players can enjoy casino games whenever and wherever they wish and the rollout of the 5G network in the West has given greater access to ultra-speedy internet connections.

Increasing Digitalization and Demand For At Home Entertainment

Staying in is the new going out for many young people in the US and Canada. Rather than going out to movie theatres, bars, and clubs at the weekend, many are instead choosing to stay at home. Online streaming services such as Netflix and Hulu are popular forms of evening entertainment, similarly online casinos provide the thrill and excitement of physical gaming venues but with the comfort and convenience of being at home. 

Higher Trust From Casino Players on the Internet

Over the years security has improved on online casino sites and on the internal in general. Most casinos allow players to use a variety of payment methods, including third party applications like PayPal and Skrill to help protect their financial data. These sites also have measures such as SSL certificates and multi-factor authentication to protect users from data breaches and fraudulent activity.

Changes to legislation are having a significant impact on the digital casino market…

In the United States, changes in legislation mean that people in many states are now able to access online casinos legally and safely. The road to legalizing online gambling and sports betting has been a long and complex one and different states have different rules and regulations in place.

While previous gambling laws in the United States, such as The Interstate Wire Act from 1961 restricted gambling, no legislation explicitly mentioned the legality of online gambling and casino games until 2006. In 2006, Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, also known as UIGEA, came into force and made transactions that involved online casinos illegal.

However, changes have since been made and many states have now legalized some form of gambling, including online casinos. The legalization of online gambling and opening of the industry began in 2013 when Delaware, New Jersey and Nevada all launched some form of online gambling site.

This was then followed by the state of Pennsylvania in 2017 and shortly after in 2019 West Virginia legalized some online forms of gambling and Michigan followed suit two years after that. Other states that now allow online gambling include California, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Tennessee.

The only two places left in the United States that have outlawed all forms of gambling are Hawaii and Utah, this includes gambling on offshore casino websites. Anyone found to be breaking the law in these states might be handed a misdemeanour charge.

In Canada, laws around gambling and online casinos have historically been less restrictive and the country is well known for having a high percentage of casino game players. Casinos that are licenced by a provincial government are allowed; this includes online offshore casinos too.

Some US residents travel over the border into Canada to enjoy land-based gambling with few restrictions.

The gambling market size in the country is estimated to be around $14 billion US dollars. In contrast to the fast growth of the US market, the Canadian market has stayed around the same size over the last decade.

Similarly, to the US, the online sector within the wider gambling market is seeing some growth. The same factors, including technological development and cultural changes, are equally as relevant in Canada as they are in the states.

Charitable and online casino gambling are the two most common forms of gambling in Canada and regulations in Canadian provinces are far less restrictive than those in most American states.

What Could the Future Outlook Be for Digital Casinos in the West?

As demand for online casinos continues to grow and more states in the US bring in legislation to legalize and regulate it, it is highly likely that this industry will continue to increase in value at an impressive rate. Technological developments will also impact the types of games that people enjoy, with Virtual Reality casinos and those based on Cryptocurrency are already beginning to reach the market.

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