As always, there is a lot happening in the online gambling and sports betting industry around the world, including in the United States. This industry is as multi-faceted as it is popular, so there is always more to learn and explore. Keep reading for a brief rundown on the latest news of the online casino industry in the United States.
Commercial and tribal gaming
Business continues to boom in the American online casino industry, especially as more and more states begin to reconsider their legislative stance on gambling and sports betting. The mid-term elections are right around the corner, and they happen to coincide with a downturn in the economy.
It is entirely possible that several candidates currently running in tight races will decide to soften or change their policies on online gambling and sports betting in order to get ahead in the polls. One politician who has repeatedly emphasized his stance on gambling is Texas’ Beto O’Rourke who is currently running for Governor.
Financial and M&A
In such a hot industry, there are always going to be mergers and acquisitions happening, but has the economic downturn given some buyers cold feet?
One of the biggest news stories of the month has certainly been the debacle over resort conglomerate Genting Group’s potential sale of Resorts World Sentosa Singapore. While there had been speculation that Genting would sell Resorts World Sentosa Singapore, Genting subsequently revealed that RWS is one of the most profitable ventures in their gaming portfolio and is even one of the most profitable resorts in the world.
In Australia, Aquis Entertainment has agreed to sell its Casino Canberra for $63m to Iris Capital, a hospitality and development group. The casino industry was hard hit by the Covid-19 pandemic and the Australian gambling industry in particular has been dogged by controversy and scandal for years. Hopefully the Iris Capital acquisition will signal smoother sailing for the industry down under.
In the United States, market analysts are speculating that MGM Resorts International may be looking for another offer for Entain at a 50% premium. Entain’s share price has slumped over the years and continues to falter year after year. MGM has signaled that it would like to gain control of the sportsbook and boost the entity’s position in the market by focusing on digital rather than land-based activity.
Legislation and regulation
2022 has been witness to a slew of sports betting bills being introduced by state legislators, with a few of them implemented into state law. In May 2022, the state of Maine introduced a sports betting bill which is expected to be implemented by mid-2023. Last year in 2021, Ohio’s sports betting bill was passed in December. However, Ohio residents will need to be patient – the bill is not anticipated to be signed into law until January 2023.
In Maryland, the legalization of sports betting was voted on and approved in November 2020 and the bill was subsequently signed into law in May 2021. At the same time, Nebraska residents also approved the legalization of sports betting. That bill was passed in May 2021 and signed into law in June 2021.
Progress is also being made in North Dakota, Kansas and Georgia, as legislation softening the states’ approaches to a number of different forms of gambling, betting and lotteries is softened.
In other news, the Mega Millions Jackpot has surpassed the $1bn mark and someone is about to become a billionaire or, after taxes, a very wealthy multi-millionaire. The news comes amid fears of an economic downturn, so it is likely that more people are trying their luck at the lottery than would have in the past.
Another interesting piece of news comes from the legal sector. Lawyer Jay Kurland, otherwise known as the ‘Lottery Lawyer’, has himself been convicted of defrauding big jackpot winners. Kurland got his moniker – ‘Lottery Lawyer’ – because he represented some of America’s biggest jackpot winners. Unfortunately, it looks as if Kurland was stealing from his clients as he was convicted of fraud and money laundering after a total of $107m was found missing from his clients’ accounts.
The industry also appears to be reawakening to the potential of land-based resorts and casinos as there have been several high-profile mergers and acquisitions. Now that the Covid-19 pandemic has wound down in many countries, people are eager to travel and stay in resorts around the world. Hospitality conglomerates are once again eyeing up casinos and resorts.