Nowadays, those industries which operate online are some of the most long-lasting, secure sectors in the world. Gambling businesses are one example of services that have been experiencing a digital transformation in the 21st century.
Here we will look at the continuous spread of virtual casino operators in the United States and the ways in which these platforms’ offerings can impact people’s desire to travel and the tourism industry as a whole.
The Rise of the Online Gambling Industry in the U.S.
Even though casinos and sportsbooks require the passage and approval of state-specific legislation to operate legally, the wider gambling industry is still one that has experienced exponential growth in recent years.
The first U.S. location to make online gambling legal was Delaware when, in 2012, the state approved a variety of services such as digital casino gameplay and wagering. Most people assume that cities known for their glitzy nightlife like Las Vegas or Atlantic City were some of the first providers of these online services, but with less than one million residents in total, the Blue Hen State owns that title.
Shortly after, other states like New Jersey, Nevada, and Pennsylvania joined them. Nowadays places across the country are actively pursuing legislation that could allow fans to play casino games and bet on sports from the comfort of their own homes.
Arizona is the most recent example where just this spring the state’s governor has signed a bill that would legalize sports betting online and also allow for some major teams to have on-site gambling options at their arenas.
Although a handful of states are getting on board, there are still several such as Utah, Hawaii, Texas, and Idaho that have not yet taken action towards addressing the subject. But this may not mean that fans cannot still take part in the activity.
In states where online sportsbooks are regulated, users have access to both desktop and mobile versions of the providers’ offerings
How These Laws Affect Travel Decisions
It’s clear that there is a strong relationship between casinos and tourism. For enthusiastic gamblers, the decision to travel to a certain destination may largely depend on the presence (or absence) of a glamorous gaming facility or sportsbook in the city.
However, does this reign true when it comes to online casinos as well? Since these platforms offer their services specifically for people in-state, there is no doubt that the legalization of gameplay or betting in one region may prompt travel to another in order to gain accessibility.
Because many virtual providers make it clear which U.S. locations are currently licensed with fully legal opportunities, it is simple for interested users to see what their options are. For example, OLBG’s list of legal online casinos by state contains information regarding availability with suggestions and reviews for popular sites, so that people know the places that are nearest to them and have a list of recommendations.
Currently, the law states that the user must be present in the state’s borders at the time of any transaction, but that it is not necessary to permanently live there or maintain any type of continued residence. This is great news for those who are neighbors of regions that have already legalized.
For instance, if you reside in Ohio, you do not yet have access to legal virtual gaming and betting. However, you can make your way over to one of the nearby states like West Virginia or Pennsylvania where you will. Because the Buckeye State does not punish residents for offshore gambling, you can enjoy the online activities with no penalty when you return home.
This cycle described above is what has the potential to generate huge travel spurts throughout the entire country. It is only a matter of time until more and more people discover it.
Depending on where they live, sports fans may only be a short plane ride or drive away from a state where online wagering is fully legal
What Does the Future Hold?
In the next decade, the multi-billion-dollar online casino industry is expected to grow at a steady rate. Market revenue is already on the rise, especially in those places where services on legal. Additionally, the influx of new travelers with a desire to gamble online will mean more out-of-state citizens participating in the economy, pouring money back into those regions.
As playmakers in the technology industry also begin to create new innovative ways of experiencing online casinos and sportsbooks, exciting things are on the horizon. One example is virtual reality that is already being used to support movies, games, sports, and more. The future could see online gambling operators with VR offerings as just one of their many products.