In certain parts of the U.S., placing a bet on a round of slots or roulette is as easy as pulling out a smartphone or booting up a computer.
But not in Nevada.
Industry watchers say online casinos, also referred to as iCasinos or iGaming, will spread to more markets in 2021 as states reeling from the pandemic’s economic impacts look for new forms of tax revenue. While the Silver State offers online poker, experts say it’ll take years before it broadens its online gaming offerings.
“As more state budgets come up short, there’s going to be more of an appetite to pass legislation for iGaming,” said former Gaming Control Board Chairwoman Becky Harris, now a distinguished fellow at UNLV’s International Gaming Institute. But “as a practical matter, the (Nevada casino) industry has determined it is not something they want to develop at this time.”
Nevada became the first state to authorize interactive gaming in 2013, but it has yet to expand its iGaming offerings beyond online poker.
Five states have legalized iGaming to date: New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, West Virginia and Nevada. Michigan is set to launch iGaming and sports betting in the coming weeks.
Macquarie gaming analyst Chad Beynon expects more to follow, with the pandemic and casino shutdowns accelerating the industry’s growth.
He said up to five states could go live in 2022, followed by another five in 2023. By 2025, he expects up to 27. More details about iGaming’s U.S. expansion should be made clear