Nevada appears serious about expanding its gambling options to include online casino games like slots, blackjack, roulette, and other games.
Sports betting and poker have been the only forms of online gambling available in Nevada so far.
The Nevada Gaming Control Board will hold an in-person and virtual work session with public comment on online gaming on May 13th.
The allowing state legislation setting up online casino gaming has been on the books for 20 years.
Nevada is considering adding online gaming to a platform that already includes several casinos, online sports betting, and internet poker.
Some states have successfully introduced online gaming; most notably, New Jersey that saw approximately $1 billion in online gaming revenue in 2020.
In Pennsylvania, Delaware, West Virginia, and Michigan, online casino games are also legal.
Nevada’s online poker experiment has produced mediocre results – $20 million in revenue by 2020 – but poker, as a peer-to-peer game, relies on “liquidity” (meaning a critical mass of players to attract significant money).
Casino games, on the other hand, are house-banked and thus not reliant on liquidity. In just a few years, online casino gaming in Nevada expects to generate nearly $270 million in revenue
More Casinos in Nevada
Nevada isn’t New Jersey, of course. To play a real slot machine or a blackjack table in New Jersey, gamblers must travel to Atlantic City. Hence, having the option of sitting at home and hitting keys on your device is a considerable convenience.
The state of Nevada, on the other hand, has over 200 casinos. Local casinos are never more than a 15-minute drive away in Clark County, where most of the state’s residents live. Slots and video poker machines are available throughout the valley in bars and stores. As a result, it’s debatable whether the broader casino industry in Nevada views online gaming as a plus or a minus, given that customers who gamble at home are less likely to patronize in-casino bars and restaurants.
Then there’s the question of whether local gambling companies can compete for online gambling dollars when they’re up against the Big Guy operators’ promotional marketing efforts, such as Caesars, MGM, and Wynn.