As the United States online gambling industry continues to grow and expand, there has been a rapidly increasing amount of analytical research being done on it. A lot of this new research is shining a spotlight on trends that, while surprising to some, have been obvious to others inside the industry for some time. This continued analysis has also allowed better, more accurate forecasts of what US online gambling revenues will look like over the next three or so years.
Trends That Point Towards Significant Growth
There are two trends in particular that this research has uncovered, and they both have a significant impact on the growth of the online gambling industry and its revenue streams.
The first trend has to do with a growth and shift in the online gambling demographics. Several websites have reported that recent research is pointing to a serious amount of growth in two major demographics: The under 35 crowd and the female population. In addition, the global market research firm Technavio has also compiled findings that show a spike in the number of users accessing online gaming from non-mobile computer devices.
The second trend is also the biggest contributor to the predicted industry growth. This trend has to do with the recent push in some states to put in place regulations for online sports betting. New York has led the charge for this, and other states like Indiana, California, Colorado, Illinois, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania are beginning to follow suit. Even some southern states like Mississippi, South Carolina and Texas have recently liberalized the online sports betting markets.
Why These Trends Are Important
The first reason this data mining is important is because it allows the US online gambling industry to more accurately predict what the forecasted revenues will be. For example, two years ago Morgan Stanley predicted that the online gambling industry would see revenues over $5 billion by the year 2020. This was based on the assumption that at last 20 states would have regulated online gambling by then. Now, with a more extensive amount of data, Morgan Stanley has since adjusted that amount down to $2.7 billion, which is more in line with the country’s current trajectory.
Having hard data on hand is also a valuable tool for other states to be able to potentially convince their politicians to take steps towards regulating online gambling. In states like California and Pennsylvania especially, there have been ongoing battles for years regarding attempts to pass some sort of workable online gambling regulations.
The biggest point to be made with all of this new research and data, though, is that this is a critical time for politicians to start taking meaningful strides towards getting this industry under regulation. Not only are they not doing right by their constituents by refusing to enact regulations, but they are also missing out on a pretty hefty chunk of tax dollars as well. Right now, the legal online gambling industry, and US online sports betting in particular, is a huge, untapped source of revenue for states that desperately need the funds to help close massive deficit gaps.
Another important point to make about the need for regulating the industry is that it can help address the problem of gambling addiction. Instituting a solid legislative foundation for regulating the online gambling industry will allow states to carve out funds to help create programs and nonprofits to give those with gambling problems easier access to the help and support they need. Currently, in unregulated states, there is only a minimal amount of help available, and it is not easily accessible.