It goes without saying that online gambling is popular right now. There seem to be more online casinos appearing every day than at any other point in time. However, are they as good as people think? We explore the popularity of online gambling, and whether it has the chance for long term growth.
Many people think that online gambling is just a thing in the western world. This isn’t the case though. Online gambling in countries like India, Pakistan and Iran, is just as popular as it is anywhere else in the world. Part of the reason for this, is that the internet infrastructure has increased significantly over the years.
Many more people in eastern countries can now access the internet. Not only that, but the quality of that connection is much better than a lot of people think. It means that playing at an online casinos is much easier than it was once thought possible.
Because a lot of these countries have areas of extreme poverty, online gambling is one of the only ways they can escape this. So, it means that lots of people use the internet to play at online casinos.
It’s not just the internet that has helped countries, such as India, have a wide range of online casino users though. There actually aren’t that many laptops and desktops available to poorer people in these countries. What there is though, is access to smartphones.
Smartphones have made it easy for poorer people to access the internet, and this means that a lot more people can visit online casinos than they were able to in the past. This has helped the popularity of these sites to increase significantly in recent times.
Obviously, it’s not limited to eastern countries, where there has been a spike in online gambling popularity. There are also a number of western countries that have seen a similar level of popularity in place. One of the biggest examples, is the USA.
The main reason behind the surge in online gambling popularity in the USA, is that up until quite recently, it was illegal. After a number of court cases, it was legalized and from there, a handful of different online gambling operators have opened their doors within the country. It’s still illegal in a small number of states, but it is only a very small minority that are currently allowing online gambling to take place in some shape or form.
The recent legalization of gambling has created a huge surge in online gambling within the USA. What has made this so apparent, is the shift in tax revenue that is collected within states that have allowed online gambling. Previously, tax revenues were collected in a variety of different ways. Since the legalization of online gambling, this has jumped up to be the dominant form of tax revenue in quite a few states.
It means two things. Firstly, online gambling is obviously very popular. If this wasn’t the case, then the revenue wouldn’t be created, and therefore there would be no taxes for the state to collect. It’s important to remember that the revenue is only collected from the operators, and not from the people who gamble. So, any winnings that are made don’t get taxed. This makes the revenue collected even more impressive.
Secondly, it means that a lot of states have more money available to them for infrastructure. It is therefore likely that many states should see improvements made, which will benefit all citizens within them.
The main reason that the states decided to legalize online gambling, was that players were still using offshore sites to play. So, even though online gambling wasn’t legal within the state, players were still finding ways around it. It meant that the states were losing out on revenue, as the offshore sites didn’t have to pay tax within the country. Because there was such a demand, due to the popularity of online gambling, it meant that legalizing the practice was always the most likely outcome.
To put it simply, no-one really knows. Because online gambling is so easy to get started with, anyone who wants to take part, is pretty much already doing so. However, there are some areas that have recently made headway into building new potential customer bases.
The first, is video gamers. Traditionally, online gambling wasn’t a hugely popular pastime for gamers. However, with the advent of esports over the last few years, there have been sportsbooks available that allow for gambling on esports tournaments. It means that gamers have something that they are knowledgeable about, and they can put that knowledge to good use. This is an area of the market that could potentially grow, and provide additional revenue to what is already brought in.
Secondly, it’s players who enjoy the real-life casino experience. Live dealer games have brought this to the fore in recent years. The popularity of these games has led to developers looking for ways to create even more realistic experiences. This is why there are more VR, and first-person games starting to appear. The development of another market will allow for additional growth in the future.