The recession has had a monumental effect on today’s modern industries. While some have failed, others have profited enormously, particularly those who’ve benefited from advancements in modern technology.
In particular, the gambling industry has seen a huge increment in the last decade. A mixture of changing attitudes towards our personal disposable incomes, renewed legislation and improved technology have all helped to make this a growing trade, with the US and Canada being noted as a big player in the gambling stakes.
The global gambling market is worth 321 billion Euros, with casinos making up one third of this sum, while lotteries make up 30% of the market. Gaming machines, betting and bingo make up the final third, with the US betting sports market noted as a big player within this. In 2012, for example, the industry was said to have made $74 billion, up from $24 billion in 2004.
Bending the rules
Strictly speaking, gambling in the United States is legally restricted. While gambling in some form is legal in almost all states – for example, lotteries – a general casino culture has geographical limitations. Land-based casinos such as those in Las Vegas or Atlantic City offer gamblers a legal haven for gambling thanks to individual state laws. Online gambling, however, is entirely different.
Gambling online has seen a huge increment in recent years and this is largely thanks to more relaxed legislation. Until very recently, online gambling was only legal in two states – Nevada and Delaware – and the US government imposed strict checks to make sure that gambling sites were not accessible from any other states. In states like Florida, which see high volumes of tourists, lobbyists are attempting to loosen state gambling and casino regulation.
In November 2013 however, that all changed. Online gambling became legal in New Jersey, home to land-based casino haven Atlantic City, paving the way for more states to follow suit in the future. Under The 1961 Wire Act, any state can allow online gambling, providing players and sites are located within its borders.
Over in Canada however, gambling is much less restricted – in Ontario alone there are five casinos, and the province became the latest in a long line of Canadian provinces to legalize online gambling in 2013. Quebec and British Columbia both operate online casinos legally, and with Ontario following suit, it may not be long before other provinces recognize the power of online gambling.
While smartphone access may have helped secure the increment in online gambling, it’s truly our renewed attitudes towards the pastime that have secured the industry’s fate. With new legislation, there is no reason why online gambling shouldn’t become a driving force in the US and Canada in years to come.