Online Casinos, Virtual Sports Just Some Of The Ways Gambling Industry Is Growing

Written By Jessica Welman on May 8, 2017 - Last Updated on January 16, 2023
High Roller and The Linq Las Vegas

Casinos are always going to be looking at new ways to make money. Properties can be extremely creative when it comes to new revenue streams. Sometimes though, politics can get in the way.

That is the case in Pennsylvania, where needless debates about taxation and regulation pose a real threat for successful online gambling regulation. PA lawmakers need look no further than New Jersey, where online casinos continue to boost their brick and mortar counterparts.

New Jersey is on to the next new thing, virtual sports. The Garden State is not the only one looking into the emerging gambling market either. Michigan is moving forward on the venture, while Nevada already offers it.

Nevada is finding the best way to boost revenue is not always gambling. The tourism in Las Vegas continues to boom thanks to new entertainment, more conventions, and appeals to interests beyond roulette variants and table games.

Here is the rundown on all those stories and more in the latest US gambling news roundup:

New Jersey keeps proving online casinos only help land-based ones

However much Pennsylvania politicians want to debate the hypothetical effects of online casinos on brick & mortar ones, it will have a tough time explaining New Jersey’s online numbers.

Online Poker Report recently surveyed the Atlantic City online landscape. The results indicated all five brick and mortar casinos with online offerings financially benefited from the online product. In other words, the exact opposite of cannibalization.

However, New Jersey operates under different regulations and taxes than the Pennsylvania proposals. If Pennsylvania does not wise up and come up with a system for online casinos to thrive, the Keystone State certainly won’t see the same results.

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Vegas is thriving, with or without gambling

Recent numbers out of Nevada are saying a lot about the direction Las Vegas and the casino industry is heading. Some industries, like poker, are holding steady. Poker is also doing so in spite of a shrinking number of poker rooms and poker tables.

The biggest takeaway is that the gambling side of Vegas simply is not as important as it used to be. March of this year was one of the best tourism months for Vegas ever. It drew those numbers largely off non-gambling attractions like conventions and entertainment.

Steve Wynn was one of the first pioneers of innovative, non-gambling casino revenue. He continues to use that strategy, as evidenced by Wynn Resorts’ new family-friendly Paradise Park project. The new lagoon-based entertainment center joins TMobile Arena, the forthcoming NFL stadium, and the High Roller observation wheel as just some of the high profile non-gambling additions to the Strip.

Virtual sports taking the US by storm?

Virtual sports are probably not something you are familiar with. They may be soon though.

Some sportsbooks in Nevada currently offer wagering on virtual sports. The rumor is New Jersey casinos will be rolling them out soon. Because the virtual contests are determined by random number generator, New Jersey’s Division of Gaming Enforcement classifies the contests as a variant of slot machines.

Michigan is also moving on virtual games, which would be offered through the state’s online lottery.

Virtual sports are faring alright in Nevada, where sports betting is also legal. African betting markets indicate virtual sports can thrive where a legal sports betting base does not exist. But only time will tell if NJ and MI will have the same kind of success.

Photo by Matteo Ceruti /

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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 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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