September was a historic month for sports betting, with New Jersey becoming the first state to manage $ 1 billion in sports betting in a single month. Public appetite for legal sports betting across the country has been strong, but the growth of this phenomenon in New Jersey has been particularly impressive. This year alone, New Jersey has seen sports betting revenues increase by 150%, and the state has already absorbed a huge $ 65 million in tax revenue since the start of the year.
This trend shows that the legalization of sports betting is shedding light on this once underground activity, as customers increasingly choose to place their bets with trusted, regulated companies rather than offshore websites or local bookies. The result is a win-win situation: customers have peace of mind and governments are collecting tax revenues that already exceed the most optimistic forecasts of most experts.
Illinois is doing well with regulated sports betting, as evidenced by the $ 400 million in bets placed in August. But it’s worth taking a look at why New Jersey is still blowing the Land of Lincoln out of the water, and what Illinois can do to maximize the benefits of regulated online gaming.
For starters, Illinois needs to allow these mobile sports betting platforms to offer additional games, including traditional casino games. I-Gaming, as it is popularly called, is the digital alternative to a trip to a land-based casino. Just as streaming has become the alternative for Americans who don’t always want the movie theater experience, I-Gaming allows people to enjoy casino games from the comfort and convenience of their home. New Jersey has had I-Gaming since 2013 and it has been a huge success, generating additional revenue for the state without decreasing revenue for physical casinos.
Last September, New Jersey generated $ 18.5 million in tax revenue from I-Gaming alone, bringing the total to nearly $ 150 million since the start of the year. It is also the perfect complement to sports betting, as the two functional products combine to provide a seamless entertainment experience. People in Illinois today can log into an offshore website or app and play blackjack with a dealer (or bot) in Costa Rica, so why not here? Much like the proven success of legal sports betting, legal I-Gaming will attract customers to a better and safer experience that can be regulated and taxed by the state.
Track betting activity to prevent gambling problems
Of course, the first question most people ask themselves is whether regulated I-Gaming is safe. The answer is unequivocally yes. But the same cannot be said of the dozens of offshore casinos that are hungry for your credit card number. They offer very little assurance that you will be reimbursed if you win, or that your personal information will not be sold to others. Providing a legal, safe and regulated alternative to a risky but widespread activity is only good policy.
Additionally, I-Gaming enables casinos to track a person’s betting activity and uses cutting-edge technology to assess risk and provide interventions to reduce problem gambling issues.
Compared to the anonymity of table games or slots in brick-and-mortar casinos or pumping out neighborhoods in one of the states’ more than 40,000 video game terminals, I-Gaming offers next-generation gamer protection. with advanced tracking. and data science to intervene early to reduce gambling-related harm.
Illinois has seen the benefits of online sports betting before, but now is the time for the state to take the next step and modernize the digital casino experience. If implemented correctly, I-Gaming has the potential to safely and effectively add more than $ 200 million in net income of states. For this reason, I urge Illinois lawmakers to make I-Gaming legislation a priority in the 2022 session.
Charles Gillespie is Managing Director of Gambling.com Group (Nasdaq: GAMB) and a global leader in the online gaming industry.
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