Welcome to our brand new bag: The very first “Letter From America” by iGamingFuture partner Casino Cabbie, bringing you all the latest news from the dynamic US market.
Sit back, buckle-up and enjoy.
It’s going to be a memorable ride, full of gossipy detail and the “I-didn’t-know-that” insight you’d expect from an ace cabbie.
US commercial gaming revenue has hit an all-time high in January, some US$5.05 billion (£4.09bn/€4.64bn), a 21 percent, year-on-year, increase, reports the American Gaming Association — the industry’s 23rd consecutive month of growth.
And sports betting revenue, with figures surpassing US$1 billion for the first time (£810m/€919m), hasn’t been left behind thanks in part to new launches in Ohio and Massachusetts.
Looks like legal sports betting in the Show-Me state is finally set for approval.
House Bill 556 will allow land-based casinos in the state to operate retail and online sportsbooks, if it passes muster in the state senate. It sets the tax rate for operators at a relatively modest 10 percent and will allow 3-6 skins per casino license.
And Oklahoma in the great American heartland seems likely to follow, with the lower legislature House of Representatives approving a Tribal Betting Bill, HB 1027, by an overwhelming 66-26 votes.
The bill has now moved to the Senate for adjustments, after which the final version, seeking to amend the current tribal gaming compacts to make way for legal sports betting in the state, must pass a final House and Senate vote.
Bullseye for Hawkeye
An online Casino Bill, HB 227, has also been introduced in Iowa.
If passed, each land-based casino in the state would be permitted up to two online skins, with licensing and regulation the remit of the Iowa Gaming Commission.
As online sports betting is already legal in the Hawkeye state, it’s hoped that Iowa will become the USA’s seventh lucky state to approve 360-degree iGaming.
Kentucky, home of the finest bourbon and America’s most famous horse race, has banned so-called “Gray” gambling machines.
These cleverly-engineered gaming terminals beat the state’s current laws by introducing an element of skill, although they were essentially coin-operated video game machines with real money payouts.
Now they’ve been well and truly bashed by Kentucky governor Andy Beshear, who’s banned them by signing off HB 594.
New Jersey, Pennsylvania and (even) Delaware have reported year-on-year rises in revenue for February.
NJ recorded growth in almost all gambling sectors for the month, recording a 10.4 percent, y-o-y, increase, to US$412.2 million (£334.19m/€379m). Online skins were led by Borgata Casino, Golden Nugget and Resorts Casino in third place.
Pennsylvania’s figures were up an incredible 21.6 percent for February, y-o-y, driven mainly by iGaming. Online slot revenue in the state increased by over 36 percent, table games by 15 percent. Hollywood Casino remained the most popular option, followed by Flutter’s FanDuel and BetRivers Casino.
Even Delaware, despite its relative current slump (sports betting sits at a six-month low), was able to post some good news; with iGaming revenue of US$38 million for February (£30.8m/€34.94m) showing a 55.7 percent increase compared to 2022.