“After two full years of successive growth post-COVID, the U.S. gaming industry has never been stronger … with record growth across every gaming vertical – from brick-and-mortar casinos to mobile gaming – American adults continue to choose gaming as one of their top entertainment options.” – AGA President and CEO, Bill Miller.
Sure, the gaming industry is on the climb if we look at the United States as a whole, but what about in New York?
It seems New York’s four non-tribal commercial casinos haven’t fared as well as many other gaming establishments in the US. The adoption of legal online sports betting in the Empire State at the beginning of 2022 means many New Yorkers now spend their gambling money on this more recent pastime.
When comparing May 2022’s to the same month of this year, only one of these four casinos showed an increase in gaming revenue. Rivers Schenectady managed a 7.6% increase, more or less in line with the increased revenue percentages of the state’s tribal casinos.
Del Lago and Resorts World Catskills both generated between 8 and 11% less during May 2023. Tioga Downs’ gaming revenue, meanwhile, fell by 1.2% compared to May 2022.
While these casinos struggle to maintain gaming revenues, the nine licensed online sportsbooks in New York excel. Through April and May of 2023, New York received $404.6 million in gross gaming revenue. This figure includes all four non-tribal commercial casinos and the nine sportsbooks combined. The 18% increase over the same period in 2022 is all due to sports betting revenue, though.
With New York’s sportsbooks doing so well, one has to wonder whether the New York State Gaming Commission and other U.S. Gaming Regulatory bodies aren’t missing another trick to improve gaming revenues.
The ever-growing popularity of crypto casinos like Megadice across the US and wider afield, means legal cryptocurrency in the state’s casino environment could make sense. Presently there is only one legal online sportsbook in the US that caters to crypto bets and deposits. And it only operates in Virginia and Colorado. Even there, crypto withdrawals are still not supported.
Cryptocurrency is growing in popularity and becoming more recognized as a payment form the world over. As such, many online gamblers find it convenient. Offering crypto as a payment method in regulated sportsbooks and casinos could generate more revenue and tax from gambling.
In 2021, Wyoming became the first U.S. state to recognize cryptocurrency as a legal tender to wager on events. Sportsbooks in the Equality State still don’t offer crypto facilities, though. The landmark adoption has, however, paved the way for established sports betting operators to consider accepting cryptocurrency within the US.
Bitcoin and Ethereum, among other cryptocurrencies, are popular in many offshore casinos and sportsbooks. The blockchain technology operators use make processing deposits easier. The technology guarantees enhanced security and anonymity that standard deposit options can’t offer. Despite these protective features, regulating these online transactions is important.
Regulators should consider using cryptocurrency in controlled gambling in New York and, indeed, the rest of the US. This option would encourage crypto users to take part in more regulated online sportsbook activity. This fact alone would grow gaming revenue in the Empire State. The added benefits to bettors, operators, and regulators are clear to see.