Cannibalization Argument Debunked by Detailed Report Into Casino Revenues

As Lawmakers Consider Legislation, a New Study Reveals Positive Impact of iGaming on Land-based Casino Revenue

Feb. 15, 2024 (Washington, D.C.): iDEA Growth (iDevelopment and Economic Association), the leading trade association for online gaming in the U.S., has commissioned groundbreaking research from Eilers & Krejcik Gaming (EKG), which reveals that, in addition to adding a revenue stream for land-based casino operators, iGaming helps boost revenue from operators’ brick-and-mortar properties. 

As part of the project, the EKG team dissected a research note by Deutsche Bank, which overlooked some key factors, and a study on iGaming by The Innovation Group, which used a flawed methodology when considering potential cannibalization. The 32-page EKG report “Comparing Online and Land-based Casino Gaming” is the most comprehensive research projects ever conducted on the effects of the introduction of online gaming on the land-based casino industry.

iDEA Founder and General Counsel Jeff Ifrah commented: “This study offers compelling evidence that online gambling is a catalyst for growth, not a competitor to land-based casinos. The research underscores the conviction that legalizing it drives beneficial economic impact across the industry. As lawmakers consider the merits of legalizing and regulating iGaming, they can be assured that it will complement the land-based casinos to deliver even more tax revenues to their states and establish meaningful consumer protections.”

The in-depth study of online and land-based casino revenues reveals an average quarterly revenue boost of 2.44% from the introduction of iGaming across the six U.S. states that have regulated the activity.

The EKG team of economists, data analysts and industry experts compared the quarterly growth rates of the six states that have legalized iGaming with a selection of land-based only casino states. They found that five of the six iGaming states outperformed the land-based group over the same time periods.

“The closer you look at the data, the better it is for the casino markets that have added iGaming,” commented Eilers & Krejcik Gaming Managing Director Matt Kaufman. “Nearly all states with mature casino markets have experienced land-based casino declines this century. States that have introduced iGaming have been materially more likely to see that decline flattening, and at times even returning to growth, compared to states with only land-based casinos.”

The EKG team also used advanced mathematical modeling techniques to study the potential impact of the introduction of iGaming in land-based casino states that have yet to legalize the online channel. They concluded that the typical state would boost casino revenue by 1.7% annually after introducing iGaming.

The timely study comes as state lawmakers in the Maryland House and Senate meet to discuss iGaming legislation at the end of the month. 

“iDEA welcomes these findings so that the debate around iGaming is centered on real facts and data. This study bolsters our advocacy efforts in key states, and we look forward to sharing the information with policymakers,” said Ifrah.  

The section of the report that focuses on previous studies concluded that the Innovation Group study and the Deutsche Bank research note contained several methodological flaws. Both failed to compare the time periods before and after each state launched online casinos – an obvious limitation if the goal is to study the impact of online casino introduction. 

The EKG methodology looks at the impact of online casinos on land-based casino revenue in each state that has launched online casinos individually. This is a much more intuitive approach that shows online casinos have positively impacted land-based revenue.

The Innovation Group’s study for the Maryland Lottery attempted to establish a baseline figure for how land-based casino revenue in iGaming states should have grown during the time frames they studied – but that baseline used arbitrarily chosen time periods, double-counted population growth, and included children as part of the population change of potential gamblers. 

The Eilers & Krejcik Gaming report ‘Comparing Online and Land-based Casino Gaming’ was prepared for iDEA. The full report can be found online here and a two-page summary here


For press inquiries or to arrange an interview with iDEA Founder Jeff Ifrah, email media contact Denise Nix at


iDEA Growth (iDevelopment and Economic Association) is a 501c6 association seeking to grow jobs and expand online interactive entertainment business in the United States through advocacy and education. iDEA provides the latest industry news, updates and legislative activity on the expansion of iGaming into the United States and its significant economic benefits. iDEA serves as a resource to the media, elected officials and the public.


Eilers & Krejcik Gaming, LLC is an independent research and consulting firm with branches in Orange County, California and Las Vegas, Nevada. The firm’s focus is on product, market, and policy analysis related to the global regulated gambling market. Clients include operators, suppliers, private equity and venture capital firms, institutional investors, and state governments.

The firm’s work on the U.S. regulated sports betting issue includes a series of 50-state projections that have become the widely accepted basis for discussion of the U.S. market’s potential. Recent state-governmental engagements have included West Virginia and Indiana, for which Eilers & Krejcik Gaming provided comprehensive market projections, economic impact projections, and fiscal analyses relating to sports betting and online gambling.