With The Year Wrapping Up, The Casino Industry Starts Planning For 2018

Posted on November 17, 2017

[toc]Most people are looking ahead to the holidays. First, turkey next week. Then Christmas next month.

If you are in the US casino business though, there are matters for more lucrative than holiday gifts and meals. With Pennsylvania expanding gambling, other states are racing to see who will go online next.

Meanwhile, the upcoming Supreme Court case on sports betting has casino operators and lawmakers alike scrambling to be ready at the starting line should wagering become available to them.

Before you get too far into your Thanksgiving prep, take a look at the latest developments.

New Jersey casino market hot and getting hotter

There is more than a month left in the year, but the New Jersey online casino market already broke a record. With October’s revenue on the books, the state generated the first-ever $200 million year, besting the revenue record with two months to spare. Projections suggest it will be a $250 million year for the industry.

There are even more reasons to celebrate though. October was another month with revenue in excess of $20 million. Online poker continued its steady decline. However, 30 percent growth on the casino side resulted in 23 percent growth year over year for the month.

The efforts of online casinos are helping land-based bottom lines too. Overall casino revenue for the year stands at just over $2 billion. This is a .6 percent bump from last year despite the fact there are fewer casinos operating in 2017 than there were in 2016.

Meanwhile, NJ casinos could be getting another big boost early in 2018. On Dec. 4, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear the state’s case on sports betting. The current buzz in the industry is that the state is the favorite to win.

Hopes are so high, MGM Resorts is already preparing for a world where New Jersey casinos offer sports betting. The company’s VP of Race and Sports, Jay Rood, announced at the Sports Betting USA Conference that he was heading to Atlantic City to oversee the construction of a $7 million sports book in Borgata Casino.

New Jersey not the only state prepping for a sports betting revolution

New Jersey is in the driver’s seat for sports betting. If the Supreme Court rules in its favor, it is legally set up to start taking bets. Other states, like New York, have similar laws on the books.

The Empire State still has some work to do though. Racetracks and tribal casinos are raising alarms that the current law only pertains to commercial casinos.

Now that Pennsylvania is expanding gambling, other states are reevaluating more than just sports betting.

Our own Steve Ruddock highlighted 15 states and their chances of expanding their gambling offerings in 2018. A handful are longshots, some are wishful thinking, but there are a few states, New York included, to keep your eye on come 2018.

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How much will Pennsylvania grow poker?

License are not even available yet, but people are already thinking ahead about what Pennsylvania online poker will do to grow the industry.

It is difficult not to get excited when big players like PokerStars confidently state they plan to be one of the first operators in the Keystone State when online casinos and online poker goes live.

Over at US Poker, they took a look at whether or not this online poker growth could lead to growth in land-based poker events. With player pooling across the states and Pennsylvania to come, there is reason to think there could be a new live poker Renaissance, complete with scads of online qualifiers.

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Jessica Welman Avatar
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Jessica Welman

Jessica Welman has worked as a tournament reporter for the World Poker Tour, co-hosted a podcast for Poker Road, and served as the managing editor for WSOP.com. A graduate of Indiana University and USC, Welman is not only a writer but also a producer. She can be found on Twitter @jesswelman.

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