One big winner of Tuesday’s elections was the U.S. gambling industry, with three states authorizing legal sports betting and three others either approving or expanding casino gaming, the Associated Press (AP) reported.
The states that approved legal sports betting were Maryland, South Dakota and Louisiana, while Virginia approved casino gambling in four locations, Nebraska authorized adding casino games for its horse race tracks, and Colorado added more types and numbers of games allowed at casinos and got rid of some wagering limits.
Gambling analyst David Schwartz with the University of Nevada Las Vegas said, “It appears that Americans are becoming increasingly comfortable with legalized gambling,” according to the AP.
“The addition of casinos in Virginia and racetrack casinos in Nebraska indicates that casino-style gambling is on the upswing as well. We have reached a point where voters seem satisfied that legalizing gambling will offer positive returns for their state,” Schwartz said.
Virginian voters in four cities, Bristol, Danville, Portsmouth and Norfolk, approved the ballot measures allowing casinos. In response to Danville’s vote, Caesars Entertainment issued a thank-you.
“We look forward to fulfilling the trust the voters have placed in us by bringing 1,300 good-paying jobs, tourism dollars and economic development to the city, and we are incredibly excited to begin construction,” CEO Tom Reeg said, according to the AP.
In South Dakota, the measure passed allowed Deadwood casinos to add in-person sports betting, though mobile sports betting won’t be permitted despite being the largest and fastest-growing subset of the form, the AP writes.
By the end of 2021, at least 25 states along with the District of Columbia could have legalized some type of sports betting.
With the pandemic, which resulted in layoffs and U.S. consumers saving whatever money they had, the future of gambling didn’t look bright. Online gambling is one alternative customers have enjoyed, which could see a value of $102.9 billion by 2025.