Nevada’s Governor ordered the shutdown of all nonessential businesses for at least 30 days on March 17th as an attempt to contain the coronavirus pandemic. It has already resulted in severe losses for the state’s economy as it has mainly been driven by the gambling industry for years. Banks will no doubts work with the local casino giants to provide them aid if necessary, in tough times to come. Nevertheless, we come to question of Nevada’s approach to the legalization of online casino slots and table games. The admirers of casino games found salvation on the internet. It is by no means surprising to see the significant rise in the number of new registrants at online casinos in the states where such pastime is legal.
Operators like Luckyland Slots have increased their revenue in the last two weeks, confirming the theory of players moving their action from land-based casinos to the internet. Although it seems logical to expect the faster expansion of online gambling across the United States, we can’t see any important decisions to lead to the support for legalizing such pastime. Online casino gambling is currently legal in only six states, including:
- New Jersey
- West Virginia
It is important to mention that online slots and table games are not allowed in Nevada. They only support online poker for now.
Local operators have different thoughts on the matter
Las Vegas is the gambling capital of the world. Some of the local giants, like Las Vegas Sands, want to keep the brick and mortar casinos tradition and refuse to embrace the online gambling. Then there are others like MGM Resorts International and Caesars Entertainment, who are in majority, who have experienced huge successes with their online branches in New Jersey and would love to go online in Nevada too.
Still too early to predict state’s embracement of online slots and table games
The fact is that Nevada have constantly prolonged the online gambling embracement over the course of history. We will go back to 2001 when the Nevada Assembly Bill 466 was passed. It allowed the Nevada Gaming Commission and the Nevada Gaming Control Board to give permissions to casinos to move online. Despite such permission, the only action was taken ten years later when the Nevada Gaming Commission allowed online poker. Expanding the array of an offer to slots and table games does not require any amends to the existing law. The NGC can simply allow it by adopting new regulations.
Online gaming revenue exceeded $100 million in the first two months of the year in New Jersey. The profit was almost doubled compared to the same period in 2019. According to the most recent reports by the New Jersey online casino operators, the numbers are much higher in the first two weeks of the shutdown of the land-based casinos caused by the coronavirus.
One does not be especially smart to conclude the introduction of online slots and table games would significantly benefit Nevada’s economy in these tough times, even if experts are not sure about that fact so far.
Nevada’s small population is a factor
Nevada has a relatively small population and it is certainly one of the main reasons why online gambling has not yet been introduced there. Tourists prefer the old-fashioned brick-and-mortar casino experience and they have little or no interest in gambling online in Las Vegas. This is why, after all, two of Nevada’s three online poker rooms were closed.
Nevertheless, taking the enormous losses following the Covid-19 outbreak, we could be looking at another online gambling push. Anything that could help in bringing the local businesses back to life is more than welcome. Judging by the experience of other states who had legalized online gambling earlier, we would not be surprised to see Nevada leading a nationwide online gambling expansion. Such a decision might make all the difference in reducing the damage and helping the local community grow in the times of the coronavirus pandemic.
The governments can make a significant profit from taxes and license fees. Gamblers have completely turned to internet gambling. With so many advantages the decision brings, we can say this is the perfect time for the state to embrace online gambling.