The year 2019 has been an amazing one for the US online gambling industry. At OUSC, we have watched as new states legalized online casinos this year. We decided to gather the main gambling highlights of the year in one post.
Keep reading to learn how the gambling industry in the US has grown over the past year.
Top 10 Online Gambling Highlights of 2019
Let’s take a walk down memory lane and review some of the biggest online casino gambling news that made headlines this year.
1. Pennsylvania Launches Legal Online Gambling
One of the biggest news of the year was the launch of legal online casinos in Pennsylvania. In late 2017, lawmakers decided to legalize online gambling. On July 15, 2019, regulated online casinos finally went live in the Keystone State. Hollywood Casino, SugarHouse, and Parx have all launched online gaming services in the state.
The start of iGaming in Pennsylvania marked the first time a US state began such gaming options since 2013. Players have access to a broad range of options, including real money online slots and table games.
2. Slots.lv Releases Live Dealer Games
In early 2019, one of our top-rated online casinos, Slots.lv, decided to launch live dealer casino games. The leading operator now provides even more quality content for their player base.
Included in the launch are baccarat, blackjack, roulette, and super 6 games. Players can click on their preferred game and playing at the live casino in real-time.
3. New Wire Act Interpretation
The Wire Act is a long-running legal saga in the US. In early 2019, the Department of Justice under the Trump Administration decided on a new interpretation that negatively affects the online gambling industry. The New Hampshire Lottery Commission filed a lawsuit and won the case this past summer.
The case now moves on to the United States Supreme Court with the review to take place next year. The NH Lottery Commission and the DOJ now have time to prepare their case to be heard in the highest court in the land.
4. West Virginia Legalizes Online Gambling
On March 27th, West Virginia became the 5th state in the US to legalize online gambling. Governor Jim Justice chose to not act on House Bill 2934, which resulted in the bill becoming law. Online gambling and poker gaming will launch sometime in 2021.
The state is expected to provide five interactive gambling permits, and there are five casinos in operation. The number of licenses gives each property a chance to become involved in the new industry.
5. Max Quest: Wrath of Ra Wins Game of the Year
Top-rated software Betsoft Gaming was recognized this year during the Starlet Awards its popular Max Quest: Wrath of Ra slot game. The title was named Game of the Year due to its innovative gameplay. This online slot game replaces standard spins and reels with interactive gaming that provides a unique experience for players.
Along with the Game of the Year award, Betsoft was also won the RNG Supplier of the Year for casino software during the Starlet Awards 2019.
6. Flutter – Stars Group Merger Creates Online Giant
In October 2019, Flutter Entertainment officially announced its intention to buy The Stars Group. If projections are correct, the merger will result in the new company becoming a powerhouse within the global online gambling market.
The two companies set up an all-stakes purchase and went public with the deal on October 2nd. Flutter Entertainment is comprised of Paddy Power, Sky Betting & Gaming as well as Betfair.
7. Betsoft Gaming Earns Two Starlet Awards
Betsoft Gaming is known as a top-rated developer of quality online casino games. Specializing in online slots, Betsoft was recognized this year as an award-winning company.
The 2019 Starlet Awards provided the brand with RNG Supplier of the Year Award for casino software and the Game of the Year for Max Quest: Wrath of Ra.
8. FanDuel Accepts First E-Sports Wager With League of Legends
In November, FanDuel became the first US online sportsbook to take bets on e-Sports competitions. The event is significant as it is considered an achievement for sports betting as well as the e-Sports sector.
Players were able to wager via the mobile sports betting apps of FanDuel and place wagers on the League of Legends World Championship finale in Paris. E-Sports is a growing industry and is a new market for global interactive gambling.
9. PokerStars Goes Online in Pennsylvania
The most recognizable brand associated with online poker is PokerStars. The brand started offering online poker services in the state of Pennsylvania this year. The brand was the first to provide iPoker in the region.
Players have taken to the online poker site, enjoying cash games and tournament offerings. PokerStars offers a robust selection of gaming, including exclusive tournament options like the PokerStars Pennsylvania Championship of Online Poker.
10. Google to Lift Ban on Online Casino Ads
One thing to look forward to in 2020 is Google’s change in online gambling ads. The company announced this year that they plan to unblock online casino advertising in the United States gambling market.
Currently, online sports betting ads in New Jersey, Nevada, and West Virginia are the only ads allowed by the company. Once the ban is lifted, players will be able to see Google ads from their favorite online casinos.
Stay Tuned For More Online Gambling Stories in 2020
It’s safe to say that 2019 was a busy year for the online gambling industry. Already, states are gearing up to consider gambling legislation in the New Year. As 2020 begins, the OUSC team will keep our readers updated on all the latest insights regarding online casino gambling. Stay tuned!