Heading into its third month, the COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked economic havoc on pretty much every industry in America. Real estate developers, auto makers, sports leagues and the entertainment industry have been economically devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic shutdown. Who would have ever thought a virus could turn Las Vegas and Atlantic City into ghost towns?
Keeping in mind absolutes seldom occur, there is one industry that is flourishing in America since the pandemic took hold. Online gambling is fast becoming a favourite form of entertainment for adults who are looking for diversions from the doom and gloom they feel while locked away in their homes. Suddenly, a Michigan lottery promo code has a lot more relevance that it did two months ago.
How popular has online gambling become in the last couple of months? The numbers are astounding. In Pennsylvania, the online gambling industry reported a 255% increase in participation from February to March. The online gambling industry is expecting to see an even bigger increase once April numbers get reported.
We don’t need a scientific study to determine why the online gambling industry is exploding in terms of revenue and new customers. I’s simply a matter of adults looking for meaningful and exciting ways to keep themselves entertained when nothing else is available. Remember, Las Vegas and Atlantic City has 52 million and 27 million visitors in 2019, respectively. They didn’t visit to shop at local malls. Americans like to gamble and where there is a will, they will find a way.
The Future of Online Gambling in America
With “captive audiences” in place, the US online gambling industry has been given a unique opportunity to gain exposure from people who otherwise might not have even considered gambling online in the past. This exposure should lead to a growing number of loyal online gamblers who will be sticking around long after the COVID-19 pandemic starts to diminish.
With only nine states having legalized online gambling at this point in time, it is a good bet 40 other states are paying close attention. While online gambling operators are pulling in profits, a portion of those profits could be filtered into the state coffers in the form of taxes. With so many states suffering drastic decreases in tax revenue due to economic shutdowns, state legislators will be looking for new ways to generate revenue for state budget support. By the way, it would be 41 other states, but Utah is not likely to ever legalize any form of gambling, much less online gambling.
History will tell us the true impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on both the US economy and how Americans will live their lives in the future. What is known at this point is people will be looking for more and better ways to keep themselves entertained at home as they put more focus on social distancing. Clearly, the online gambling industry will be a beneficiary of the changes the country will be going through in the immediate future.