(STL.News) The past few years have seen plenty of change to the online casino industry in the United States following the 2018 Supreme Court ruling that now allows states to legalize sports
Since the ruling, a total of 18 states now have legalized sports betting, with another 29 (plus Washington DC) in the process of it becoming a possibility – leaving just Idaho, Wisconsin, and Utah as the states that remain opposed.
While the ruling pertains primarily to sports betting within states that have since passed laws to allow such activities – both online and at land-based venues – it has also opened the doors to allow for online casinos to be launched.
For instance, Michigan, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Delaware all quickly moved in passing new gambling laws that incorporated online casino and online poker licenses, joining New Jersey – the home of gambling hot-spot Atlantic City – in offering legal online gambling activities.
And while these states are among the first to offer online casinos to residents and visitors, in the long-term they will surely not be the last.
So, as the United States gradually moves closer to more widespread online casino reform, how will that affect the industry? Here is a look at those who will likely benefit and those who will be harmed by the move toward online casinos.
Foreign betting companies
Since the gradual launch of online casinos in the United States, a number of established gambling operators in the United Kingdom have capitalized by setting up Stateside operations.
Bet365 has been in operation in New Jersey since last year and has announced plans to expand into more states; 888 Holdings reopened US-based operations following the ruling and in 2018 became the sole owner of the All American Poker Network; while William Hill entered bookmaking services casinos in New Jersey and is also planning to offer their platform further wide.
With decades of experience and established platforms, it makes sense that US-based companies are partnering with UK-based companies to offer the best online betting services who offer casino games with the best odds.
With growing demand in online casino games, software and program developers are already taking advantage. It was announced last week that software development company Playtech have launched their services in New Jersey as part of an aggressive expansion plan in the United States.
Playtech are the creators of many of the most popular online casino games, including hundreds of slots, blackjack, roulette, poker, and virtual games.
Seeking to follow in Playtech’s footsteps, expect other major gambling software developers such as NextGen, Evolution, Betsoft, and NetEntertainment to enter the US market.
Skilled tech workers
As well as program developers, the continued expansion of online casino platforms in the US will see a huge demand for other skilled tech workers.
App developers, coders, cyber-security experts, cloud engineers, information security analysts, and other tech-based roles will be required to launch, maintain, and protect online casino platforms.
It really goes without saying, but the land-based casino industry will see its bottom line hit by the launch of online casinos in their states. Gambling destinations like Las Vegas and Atlantic City are unlikely to see too much change as they will retain their allure as tourist and weekend hot-spots.
What will likely suffer more are smaller operators in states and towns. Riverboat casino businesses, for instance, are sure to experience adverse effects with the launch on online casinos, pitting people’s livelihoods at risk.
Skilled casino workers
If land-based casinos suffer, then so will the people who are working at them. Dealers have a particular set of skills that allow them to quickly and efficiently turn over new games to keep the money pumping in for casinos.
While online casinos often offer live dealer tables, these people are usually located abroad – in Asia or Eastern Europe – where overheads and wages are much cheaper. A US-based casino dealer will be unable to find the same opportunities in the online casino world.
Unskilled casino workers
The same applies for ‘unskilled’ workers working in casinos in the United States. If land-based casinos downsize or close due to falling revenue, then it will be the waiters, security guards, bartenders, and cleaners that will be the first to feel the consequences.
And it goes without saying that these people will not be able to find similar positions with online casino companies as they do not have any physical locations where their services are required.
These are exciting times for the online casino industry in the United States as more states look to expand or launch operations over the next few years. It is also a reminder of the human cost of technological advances, which have resulted in job losses across a number of other industries as companies look to speed up and streamline operations. The casino industry is just the next to follow suit.