TMCnet Feature
August 09, 2020

How the US Online Gambling Industry Has Grown During the COVID-19 Crisis

When the US went on lockdown in March, it was clear COVID-19 was going to disrupt just about every industry. But a few months down the line, some industries have been experiencing growth like never before.

Online gambling is one of the biggest benefactors of countrywide lockdowns. And as you’ll find out below, this growth will remain even post COVID-19.  

Increased Legalization in the US

In 2018, the Supreme Court made a landmark ruling to let states legalize online gambling. Delaware and New Jersey authorized the sector almost immediately. A few states followed next, and by March this year, over 20 states have partially or fully legalized the industry.

Sports betting is the most legalized section of online gambling. It was affected by COVID-19 for the first few months of the pandemic, becoming a problem in the US. But bookmakers fired from all their creativity cylinders to ensure people had something to predict.

Some betting websites allowed people to predict eSports, overseas soccer, and table tennis from East Europe. A few companies even allowed betting on the weather, politics, and marble racing.

With many leagues back in action, online sports betting is bound to increase. States, where mobile betting is entirely legal, will benefit the most from revenues. You can find a breakdown of online gambling in the USA at

255% Increase of New Poker Players

According to research firm Global Poker, the US has witnessed an increase of first-time online poker players by 255% since lockdowns began. Overall, the poker industry has experienced a 43% growth in the last five months.

Poker is one of the most popular casino games in the US, with about 40 million players. It's also a skill-based game that makes it favorable to people who like to have a bit of control over the outcome of gambling games.

Additionally, poker is the only legalized casino games in many states. From Nevada and California to Delaware and New Jersey, poker is allowed in nearly every jurisdiction with legal online gambling laws.

65.7% Tax Revenues in New Jersey and Pennsylvania

After New Jersey ordered land-based casinos to close down in March, revenues in that sector fell by 61%. A month later, however, income tax from the online casino was up by 65.7%. New Jersey has the most liberal online casino laws.

So, its increased revenues from online casinos are a great indication of the industry's sector amid COVID-19. Pennsylvania, which had the third-best revenue from online gambling last year, also recorded reduced tax revenues following the closure of land-based casinos. However, it earned increased growth from online casino tax income.

Social Gambling Sites and Apps

Social online gambling is growing rapidly throughout the US, more now during COVID-19 than ever before. That’s because people are spending more time at home with businesses closed around the country.

For the uninitiated, social gambling involves playing casino games for fun and not real money. There are plenty of such apps on Facebook (News - Alert) and play stores. Usually, you install an app and receive thousands of virtual coins to play slots or card games.

You can play these games alone, with friends of strangers. The best part is that the action happens in real-time. You can showcase your poker skills to players from all over the world without risking real cash.

Welcome and Loyalty Bonus

Bonuses have an undeniable role in attracting people to online casinos and sportsbooks. They promise new players free money to play casino games temporarily. If you win, you can cash out your profits safely.

Bonuses come in many forms. But more often than not, they have some rules that should be read carefully. For starters, you might be expected to fund your account before you receive a bonus. There are also requirements to fulfill before you withdraw bonus wins.

That said, bonuses are an excellent way to test the waters of online casinos. You can claim a no deposit bonus and use it to get a feel of online casino games. If you're pleased with your experience, then you can deposit money.

Before you join an online casino, though, ensure it also offers loyalty bonuses. If you’re a high roller, also ensure you get into a casino with attractive offers for VIP players.

Real Money Mobile Casino Apps

Although the online casino sector in the US is young, it's on board with all the best technologies. That includes mobile betting, one of the latest trends in the industry. Unsurprisingly, an increasing number of casino players are gambling through their mobile devices.

Should you download a casino app? Yes and No. You can install a gambling app if you like to play games through native apps. You don’t need an app if you’re alright with playing slots through a mobile browser.

There are not many differences regarding the experience of using an app over a mobile website. You play the same games on the same site. The only difference is that with a website, you don't need to install anything on your iPhone (News - Alert).

Increased Bet Amounts

People have not only been betting more during COVID-19, but they are also wagering big amounts, at least in March, April, and May. The increased betting action comes primarily from land-based high rollers out to try online casino gaming.

It also comes from enthusiast gamblers with more free time now that many places of work have been shut down. As mentioned, though, the increase in betting amounts seems to have decreased between June and July.

Of course, people weren't going to increase their bets continuously with no reliable sources of income. But for the brief moment they did, online casinos in the US recorded immense growth in revenues.

Summary and Conclusion

Since COVID-19 became a problem in the US, many businesses have shut down, furloughed, and fired employees. But that doesn't include online gambling businesses, which are witnessing growth.

From New Jersey and Delaware, Pennsylvania, and Nevada, people have been opening online casino accounts in record numbers since March.

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