US Online Gambling: Helping or hurting Land-Based Casinos?
For years, land-based casinos fought legal online gambling in order to protect their own interests. But in recent years, many casino corporations have begun to see the potential in online gambling, launching their own operations in the process.
Caesars Entertainment has largely led the crusade to open up internet gambling throughout the United States. So far, this mission has been successful, with New Jersey, Nevada and Delaware now offering cyber gaming. The goal is to get a piece of the $33 billion that’s gambled worldwide over the internet. The handful of states that are offering online gambling are expected to pull in $670 million this year alone. By 2020, those estimates shoot up to $9.3 billion for US gambling sites.
Aside from the money aspect, gaming sites are expected to save jobs at brick-and-mortar casinos throughout America. As New Jersey state senator Raymond Lesniak said, “Without online gaming, two casinos would have closed and 5,000 to 10,000 people would have been out of jobs in Atlantic City.”
Other people aren’t so convinced that US online gambling will provide a boost to struggling casinos. Las Vegas Sands chairman Sheldon Adelson has been one big opponent of cyber gaming. The billionaire has used the argument that online gambling is a “disease” that’ll lead to addiction in millions of Americans. He made the following memorable statement in his crusade to stop online betting:
Click your mouse and lose your house’ isn’t a marketing slogan for advocates of legalized online gambling. But it should be. As an industry leader, and more importantly as a father, grandfather, citizen and patriot of this great country, I am adamantly opposed to the legalization and proliferation of online casino gaming,
Adelson has gone as far as to say that online gambling should not only be stopped from spreading, but also abolished in New Jersey, Nevada and Delaware. Up to this point, he appears to be losing the battle since most people think that his anti-internet gaming campaign is self-serving. Nevertheless, it doesn’t look like this debate is over with by a long shot.