Online betting could change the entire gambling industry

Online betting could change the entire gambling industry

While the majority of businesses have been able to seamlessly transition to the online market, land-based casinos may not have such an easy time. Currently, online gambling within the U.S. is illegal on a federal level, but more and more states are pushing to allow the practice within their boundaries.

"Gambling is going to undergo a fundamental change as large as when it moved from alleys, backrooms and secret underground locations to legal storefront casinos," Ken Adams, a spokesman for Las Vegas-based CDC Consulting, told the Star-Telegram. "Gambling has moved out of the shadows and into the bright lights. Now it is poised to migrate once again, this time from the multimillion- and sometimes billion-dollar casinos … to the apartments, offices and single-family houses of the nation."

Nevada was the first state to allow online slots and other forms of poker for residents, and California, Iowa and Connecticut among other states are debating proposals to follow suit. The Global Betting and Gaming Consultants recently published the list of the top 50 gambling companies, and online providers are knocking land-based casinos down a few pegs on the list, according to

The value of the Las Vegas Sands, which was the number one gambling company in 2008's index, dropped by 93 percent, according to Bloomberg. The MGM Mirage fared almost as badly with a value decline of 88 percent. The drop in value for land-based operators is starkly contrasted by the rise of online gambling companies. This could potentially spell disaster for casinos if people don't even need to leave their homes to play slots, Texas Hold'em and other poker games on their computers and mobile phones.

However, Bloomberg indicates that not all casinos are losing out to internet-based organizations. Wynn Resorts has managed to increase in value, taking fifth place in the Global Betting index. Back in 2003, the company was ranked 11th. The news source suggests the reason for the casino chain's success is its focus on a niche market. Rather than offering penny slots and low-stakes gambling, Wynn focuses mainly on high-rollers who likely prefer the in-person experience that comes with visiting a casino to gamble.

Do you think land-based casinos can coexist with online gambling sites? Will they need to adjust their services and cater to specific clientele to stay afloat should the U.S. legalize online gambling?

Published on 27 February 2012