In the online gambling industry, the terms ‘gaming’ and ‘gambling’ are often used interchangeably. Strictly speaking, ‘gambling’ traditionally entails a money bet or wager being placed on the outcome of a game whereas ‘gaming’ could refer to anything that involves playing, with or without the involvement of a wager or the possibility of a real money reward. While gambling could be considered a subset of gaming, the vast majority gaming generally does not include gambling. For example – playing a video/computer game like Counter Strike or Dota 2 is gambling but not necessarily gambling (unless you bet on the outcome of the game, in which case it would be considered E-sports betting).
Monetizing Gaming Vs. Monetizing Gambling
One of the ingenious ways in which game developers monetize games is by offering players in-game purchases. Let’s consider a first-person shooting game for example. Here, as the gamer, you may have the option to pay and buy guns, skins, new maps, vehicles, new levels, ammo, etc. Likewise, any game can be monetized by using in-game purchases. On the other hand, in online gambling games such as video slots or casino table games like blackjack and roulette, players will place real money bets in order to have a chance of winning real money rewards. The online casino will profit from these real money bets since the payout percentage is generally a tad bit little lesser than the total revenue coming in the form of bets. So, if a casino has a payout percentage of 98%, it means that it pays back $98 for every $100 worth of bets and makes a profit of $2.
Gambling Charms the Gamers
Being online and playing games that do not involve real money betting often leads to exposure to games that do involve real money betting. For instance, a player who is playing FIFA online may see an advert where he or she can bet on the outcome of a FIFA match between two professional FIFA E-sports players. Having knowledge of the players and their past records, strengths and weaknesses, and other insights into the fixture, the individual may decide to bet on one of the players to win. Alternatively, a player who is playing an online video game on a website may come across the same platform also offering online casino video slots for real money and decide to try their luck. These examples just scratch the surface, there are innumerable other ways through which gamers could come across gambling games online and decide to try their hand at it.
The world over, gamers seem to be migrating towards online gambling for a myriad of reasons. With this virtual tectonic shift, the market size for online games and online gambling are increasing disproportionately. Essentially, online gambling sector is growing much more rapidly than their online gambling counterpart. The money seems to be flooding into online gambling more than ever before, particularly in the United States. In the 18+ category of gamers, spend is certainly going to move from buying in-game items to taking a sports wager or trying out some online slots. The level of details in today’s online casino games is staggering and the libraries are growing as are the number of US-based casino sites offering specials.
Legal Status of Online Gambling in the USA as of December 2021
Online gambling can be further broadly divided into two main categories, namely, online casino gaming and online sports betting. In the USA, the legality of either is determined by the State we are referring to. In some states, both are outlawed, in some states both are legal and in others one may be legal while the other illegal. Having said that, the general trend seems to overwhelmingly indicate that an increasing number of states have begun to shed their conservative views on online gambling and are taking a progressive approach by legalizing and regulating sports betting and casino gaming. They’ve certainly been motivated by the incredible amount of tax revenue legal online gambling can single-handedly generate for the state.
A major issue with not legalizing and regulating online gambling is that players will simply find off-shore online casino websites to play with and the money flows out of the country, defeating the purpose of the restriction entirely. It seems that the law makers are starting to wake up to this reality.
With the demand for online gambling at unprecedented levels, game developers too have plenty of incentive to spend less resources building graphically complex video games and instead churn out feature-rich video slots, live dealer table games, and other online gambling products that undoubtedly offer a much better yield. Especially considering that the country wide regulation is moving towards the legalization and regulation of online gambling, albeit at different rates in different states. Developers can create online gambling games and release it in states that are legal and when new states declare regulation, they already have a product ready to hit the market and capture market share right from the get go.