G2E Conference Summary: iGaming Congress
This year’s G2E was as exciting and enlightening as any before it. As an industry, gaming has been steadily recovering from the dramatic declines of 2008 and 2009, and new growth opportunities are presenting themselves. Possibly the greatest potential for growth exists in the igaming sector. This blog post is a quick summary of the discussions and conclusions of igaming and legal experts on this emerging market.
How Big is the Market?
The worldwide online gaming market is currently around $32 billion annually, with approximately $13 billion generated in Europe, $9 billion from Asia, and the remainder from North America and the rest of the world. Legalization in the United States will undoubtedly grow the total pot, but there is no widespread agreement on what those revenues will be. Some experts have estimated that the U.S. poker market could result in tax revenues of $6-15 billion annually, creating 60,000 jobs in our economy.
Path to Legalization
Online gaming is flourishing worldwide, however poker is the most palatable game for legalization in the United States right now. Much as last year, industry experts disagree on the route for its legalization – whether it will happen on the federal level, or whether individual states will take action first. Were online gaming legalized on the federal level, a new regulatory body would likely have to be created. If it were legalized on a state-by-state basis, existing gaming commissions cold oversee the operators. This year’s panelists and experts believe that New Jersey will have online casino gaming soon, not just poker, and that Iowa could be the next state to legalize Internet poker.
Who Will Get Licenses?
Much discussion at this year’s G2E centered on who the potential licenses will go to – to those companies based outside of the U.S., or those that are U.S. based. The general consensus was that U.S. based companies have a greater chance for licenses, but that European-based companies will play a key role in providing software and support for the legal sites.
What Can Licensees Expect?
Gaming operators and legislators are currently in negotiations on the details of any bills, but the gaming companies represented at G2E expect to pay around a 16% tax on net deposits or similar fees in exchange for the ability to advertise their sites.
Suzanne P. Leckert
Director of Gaming, Feasibility & Land Use Analysis
Next G2E blog post: Summary of new opportunities for land-based gaming in the U.S. and Asia
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