It was a busy year for gambling in the United States, with the seeds sown for potentially major changes on a state and federal level. As we head into 2018, analysts expect to see some interesting movement on the international stage as well.
We take a look at some of the highlights of 2017 in the US gambling industry:
Online Gambling Comes to Pennsylvania
After a break of four years, another state finally passed a law that legalizes and regulates online gambling. Pennsylvania became the fourth state to join less than a handful of others (New Jersey, Delaware and Nevada) to roll out online gambling as part of a new law to expand its gambling industry. There are still a number of hurdles to overcome before Pennsylvanians can play at legal online casinos, including the huge 54% tax rate slapped on online slots, but it is believed that operators will nevertheless apply for licenses in the hope that this ridiculously high tax amount will drop once the industry gets going. It is believed the first Pennsylvania online casino will go live at the end of 2018.
New Jersey Shows Excellent iGaming Numbers
After legalizing online gambling in 2013, New Jersey was finally able to say that the industry is working in full force. Numbers coming out of the Garden State show that gambling revenue from its online casinos amount to 10% of the gambling market’s total revenue. These numbers certainly helped lawmakers reach a decision when seeking to legalize online gambling in Pennsylvania.
Federal Sports Betting is Back on the Table
The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) returned to the Supreme Court 25 years after it was passed by the US government. The US Supreme Court agreed to hear New Jersey’s appeal that the law is unconstitutional and the first hearing kicked off in December this year. A verdict is not expected until the middle of 2018, but already winds of change are being felt across the industry. If New Jersey wins its battle, multiple individual states will follow suit and demand to have their own legal sports betting industries. Some states have already lined up laws that will allow them to do so if and when the Supreme Court rules in New Jersey’s favor.