The American Gaming Association is celebrating a big milestone this month, as they mark ten years since online casino games became legal in the United States. Since their legalization, these games have become incredibly popular and are played all over the country. There are more people than ever downloading and playing online casino games, and the market shows no signs of slowing down. But how has the industry changed in the past decade, and which trends seem set to stay?
At the moment, iGaming is not completely legal across all 50 states. However, it is easily accessible via offshore sites thanks to the wide range of gaming providers. Many also choose to visit neighboring states in order to take part in online gambling. Some of the states where the practice is legal include Pennsylvania, Michigan, Connecticut, and West Virginia. However, legislation is being updated all the time, and it is possible that many more will permit online casino gaming soon.
One of the main ways that the industry has transformed since its beginning is the introduction of cryptocurrency casinos. Ten years ago, crypto was just starting out, and had definitely not entered into the mainstream yet. Nowadays, a large number of people across the world are seeing the benefits of digital currencies, and are using crypto coins for a variety of reasons, one of which being gaming. A growing number of casino game operators, which are ranked in readwrite.com and other sites, allow players to deposit and withdraw using crypto, as well as earn rewards or bonuses in this way.
A knock-on effect of the legalization of online casino games is the economic benefits that it has brought to the United States. Statistics have shown that since 2013, the iGaming industry has generated US$16.3 billion in GGR (gross gaming revenue), which in turn has produced upwards of US$4 billion in tax payments. In this year alone, there has been a 22.7% year-on-year increase, with nearly US$4 billion being accumulated from online gambling! These numbers show that there are clear financial incentives for online casinos to continue to grow, as they greatly boost the economy of the state.
Although online casino games have never been more popular, this does not mean that retail casinos have become irrelevant. Some digital gambling sites are partnered with land-based casinos, which makes accessing casino games easier than ever and makes sure that users of one are informed of the other. This is not to say that the landscape of retail casinos across the US has not changed in the last decade, but only that it has not necessarily been negatively impacted by the iGaming industry.
Without a doubt, a key change in online casino gaming since its advent in the States is just how much game providers have improved. In the beginning, game options were somewhat limited, and graphics were rudimentary – this could not be more different now! The majority of online casinos have a wide range of games, from classic casino picks like poker to new games created by developers. The graphics are so advanced that many can provide immersive experiences to players, and there are even options for live-dealer tables.
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