Nevada is known throughout the world as the place where gamblers go to enjoy gaming at some of the best casinos in the world. Given the legacy that land-based casinos have in the U.S. state, it’s not a surprise to find out that the state bans almost all forms of online gambling. However, there is a possibility that this may change soon.
Many of the more modern or easy to access gambling options available in other regions cannot be found in Nevada, to the surprise of visitors to the state. Even with the growth of interactive online casinos and remote registration for sports betting in the U.S., Nevada continues with its ban on online gambling but proposed amendments to gambling legislation could open up the market in a big way.
When visitors arrive in Las Vegas, they are often surprised to find that Nevada is a state that does not have a state lottery. Which makes the state one of five in the U.S. that doesn’t participate in the industry nor does it participate in any type of interstate lotteries such as Mega Millions and Powerball. The only exception that the state has made, is to allow residents to play online poker through one online platform and pools its players with Delaware and New Jersey via WSOP.com.
More could be expected for online gambling as the Nevada Gaming Control Board (NGCB)have suggested and proposed amendments to the state law that governs interactive NGCB has put aside time for a hearing in the middle of May to discuss and consider legalizing online casino games and proposing remote registration for sports bettors in the state.
While there has been the intent and some action to make big changes in Nevada, things are happening in small ways and more input is needed to bring a gaming expansion to the state. The NGCB is made up of three members and is still seeking input from industry stakeholders as well as comments from the public for any gaming expansion and bringing remote sports betting registrations to the state. The latter is something that has long been a part of the U.S. sports betting industry.
Nevada and Illinois are the only two states with legalized sports betting that doesn’t allow for remote registration. Even though Illinois suspended this regulation last year, the executive order has lapsed and bettors in the state looking to register a sports betting account will need to make their way to the local sportsbook. It could be tricky as casinos have opposed remote registration for a long time. If sports bettors are forced to register in person, the casino housing the sportsbook will have increased foot traffic that could lead to additional revenue for the brick-and-mortar gaming facility.
The hearing that will be taking place to consider the amendments to Regulation 5A will not be voted on just yet, it will just be a discussion to gain more information at this point. If the amendments are voted on sometime in the future then all it would need is for two of the three members to support the changes. If this is accomplished then the amendments will make their way to the Nevada Gaming Commission to decide whether or not the changes can be approved.
There is no doubting the importance of what Nevada has built-in terms of the casino industry, however, there are benefits from online gambling that the state is currently missing out on. When compared to Pennsylvania, where online casinos generated 21% of the state's gross gaming revenue in 2020. Even though sports betting is what everyone is currently talking about, online table games and slots have been proven to be more profitable for land-based casinos and their iGaming operators. For iGaming alone in Pennsylvania, 2020 saw a total of 556.7 million USD generated while sports betting operators won 189.7 million USD.
Furthermore, New Jersey fared even better with online casinos generating gross gaming revenue of 970.3 million USD while sportsbooks kept 398.5 million USD of all bets wagered in the state. In the states of Pennsylvania and New Jersey, the online casino gaming sector helped supplement some of the losses that the casinos felt during 2020. Year-on-year results show that Nevada experienced a decrease in gross gaming revenue of 43% between 2019 and 2020. For the same period, New Jersey was down only 17% year-on-year while Pennsylvania wasn’t too far behind with a decrease of 19% year-on-year.