The legalized sports betting and iGaming industry has changed and grown in remarkable ways in recent years. As we look to 2023, iDEA Growth (iDevelopment and Economic Association), the leading nonprofit trade association representing online gaming and sports betting business growth in the U.S., has six predictions for the online gaming industry that are safe bets!
- States will up the Ante: More states will legalize online sports betting and iGaming, giving consumers more safe options to legally play. For example, an Indiana bill to legalize iGaming has already gathered lots of momentum after iDEA spent the past couple of years educating policymakers in the state. Lawmakers now have updated data from other jurisdictions and are learning that legalized iGaming protects consumers and generates millions of dollars in tax revenue that supports education, public safety and other critical community needs.
- Innovation is the Industry’s Ace in the Hole: From improved usability and functionality to licensing and partnerships to creating fun, community-oriented experiences for online players — innovation is key to the industry’s success. Companies that provide regulated, legalized sports betting and iGaming will continue to find innovative and creative ways to attract and keep customers playing in a responsible manner.
- Mergers & Acquisitions and Brand Consolidations are in the Cards: As more jurisdictions embrace the benefits of responsible gaming and legalize online sports betting and iGaming, both the horizontal and vertical markets will even themselves out through M&As. Tech companies, including payment and security platforms, will be enticing to the leading business-to-consumer providers looking to innovate and reduce competition in the growing legal market. In addition, the extension of iGaming into more legalized markets will drive more M&A activities around content and media providers.
- More Consumers Will Play Their Cards Right: With increased regulation and legalization comes more players — all of whom will benefit from the safe and innovative experiences being created by responsible iGaming providers.
- Responsible Gaming Commitments Will Sweeten the Pot: With growth in the regulated, legalized online sports betting and iGaming markets will come increased commitments from providers to provide responsible gaming experiences to consumers. Online gaming operators will continue to build upon the responsible gaming foundations they laid by working to prevent crime, protect privacy, keep children off online gambling sites and offer assistance and intervention to consumers in need.
- Calling a Spade a Spade: Illegal Online Gaming: Awareness will continue to grow regarding the deleterious effects of illegal internet-based gambling. Cheating, fraud, money laundering, underage gambling… these are all byproducts of illegal, unregulated online sports betting and gaming sites. Consumers and lawmakers alike will increase demand for the legal, safe alternatives.
It was expected that online sports betting and iGaming would slow down after a burst of activity during the COVID-19 pandemic. But quite the opposite is happening. This is due to the industry’s efforts to expand legal online gaming to U.S. consumers, all while creating innovative ways to ensure consumers’ safety.
As part of one of the most highly regulated industries in the U.S., online sports betting and iGaming operators will continue to advocate for laws, implement protocols and perform responsibly to keep crime out, children away and identify problem behaviors.
On behalf of iDEA’s 33 members, we wish you a happy and safe holiday season and new year! We hope it’s full of big wins!