In 2014, business has been fantastic for the online casino and wagering industry. Established virtual casino operators and Internet betting shops are reporting healthy traffic to their sites and the gaming profile of the median online casino player has increased considerably in terms of activity. Mobile casino games now take up a significant share of the lucrative casual gaming market, and a few jurisdictions in the United States are choosing to break free from federal restrictions on online gambling in an effort to increase revenues.
As the online casino space continues to enlarge, owners and operators of traditional, brick-and-.mortar casinos are pondering why their bottom lines are quickly eroding. In the United States, efforts to expand casinos beyond Las Vegas, Atlantic City and Native American reservations are being abandoned in favor of online gaming.
A Losing Bet in Atlantic City
Casino industry analysts and observers are keeping a close eye on recent developments in Atlantic City, the former jewel of gambling in the U.S. Eastern Seaboard. A few researchers and observers are predicting that the fall of the Boardwalk Empire is already in the making, and they believe that online casinos will probably accelerate Atlantic City’s decline.
The problems in Atlantic City became obvious even to the most casual observer in early 2014, when the formerly swank Atlantic Club was forced to close its operations after being acquired by competitors who are trying to stay in business at all costs. This summer, however, signs of impending decay were confirmed with the announcement by the Trump Plaza and Showboat casinos that they plan to cease operations. Even the Revel, which has only been around a couple of years, is considering shutting down unless a buyer materializes in the next few months.
Competition is to Blame
Atlantic City is not the only casino emporium feeling the pinch. Tribal casinos in Pennsylvania and Connecticut are also worried about the specter of uncertainty. Las Vegas is sitting pretty for the time being, but Sin City could be compromised if the legislatures of neighboring states approve bills that expand gambling in their jurisdictions.
With competition comes dilution, which tends to affect casino properties that fall short of providing Las Vegas-style entertainment. Even in the online casino realm, gaming action can only keep players interested to an extent. Some online casino operators are now getting creative by adding sports wagering and even binary options trading to their traditional roulette, dice, cards, and slots offerings. Other Internet gaming sites are considering adding premium entertainment such as feature films, video series, exclusive games of skill, and live tournaments.
A Bright Future for Online Casinos
Here’s another reason cited by casino industry analysts that explains the success of companies dedicated to Internet gaming: They are better at doing business when compared to their traditional casino counterparts. For example, online payment system uKash and Internet gaming giant Bet365 are now listed on the International Track 200, which is a list of top British companies that are shining in terms of international sales.
The inclusion of Bet365 and uKash as part of the International Track 200 puts them on the same league as Penn Pharma, Crown Products and Nova of London. These are companies that recognize the golden opportunities that emerging markets offer; in the case of uKash and Bet365, they know that gambling has global appeal.
Stronger evidence of online casino expansion was recently announced by Churchill Downs, the legendary American horse racetrack. Churchill Downs was hoping on a legislative resolution that would enable them to open a casino in the bustling city of Louisville, Kentucky. After the legislative process stalled, the company decided to try its luck in New Jersey; however, the focus has shifted solely to developing online casinos.