2020 was a year most of us will never forget, and American land casinos took a battering throughout it. However, one segment of the American gambling sector continued to grow in 2020; online casino gaming. For years, the writing has been on the wall that online casino gaming will slowly and steadily become legal across the United States. 2020 was a significant year in this regard.
This is a recap of what happened and a look forward at what might occur in 2021.
USA Online Casinos – What Happened In 2020?
We reported on several landmark stories in US online casino gaming in 2020. Here’s a quick recap of what was a rollercoaster year.
- Evolution, the leading live gaming company, announced several strategic partnerships in the USA. This included a partnership with Golden Nugget in Atlantic City.
- Michigan state officially legalized online casino gaming. Governor Whitmer signed the bill to legalize it in late 2019, but 2020 saw significant moves to make legal online gambling in Michigan a reality.
- Demand for live casino games skyrocketed across the United States as land casinos were closed due to the pandemic. Live casinos like Red Dog saw huge spikes in registrations as American players opted for live dealer gaming online.
- American casino giant Caesars Entertainment bought UK bookmaker William Hill in a mega deal. It indicated that it was mostly interested in hiring William Hill’s sports betting talent, confirming that it plans to expand in this area within the USA.
These are only the biggest stories regarding casino gaming in the USA in 2020. In reality, dozens of other smaller things began to take shape. By far the biggest of all, in our opinion, is Evolution setting up its base in Atlantic City with plans for another studio in Michigan later. This proves that it will be a predictably strong force in the rapidly legalizing US online casino market.
What to Watch for In 2021 and Beyond
What should you watch out for in 2021? What might happen? Here are some themes we will be watching.
- Kentucky may attempt to legalize online gambling again. It failed to do so at the end of 2019, and we thought they would try again in 2020. For obvious reasons that didn’t happen. Could 2021 be the year? As other states reap the tax benefits, Kentucky could be next.
- It’s almost certain that Evolution will make more moves in America. If any other states legalize, you can be sure Evolution will be among the first to sign a deal. You can also expect more strategic partnerships with large legal American casinos.
- In 2020, some well-known land based operators recognized the benefits of expanding their online gambling operations. We’d expect more focus on this in 2021 and beyond. Expect Caesars Entertainment and others to push for further online expansion.
2021 will be an exciting year as life returns to some form of normality, the economy slowly reopens, and land casinos can forget their 2020 nightmare. However, many American players have now tasted the benefits of playing live dealer games online, and they won’t forget that. Land casinos will have to evolve and shore up their online operations. Those who do so fastest will reap the greatest rewards.