United States

No New States Offering US Online Poker Until 2016?

Following 2013 – when Delaware, New Jersey and Nevada launched iGaming operations – there were high hopes that more states would enter the US online poker market in 2014. However, it’s easy to see that this past year was a bust as we enter 2015. So what can we look forward to in the near future on the online gaming front?

Not much US online gaming according to Morgan Stanley

Several months ago, Morgan Stanley got iGaming enthusiasts excited when they predicted 20 states being involved in online gaming by 2020. In turn, this would lead to a $1.3 billion market by 2017, and a $5.2 billion market by 2020. Well, Morgan Stanley might be backing off these numbers since they recently predicted that California, America’s biggest state with 38.33 million people, won’t legalize iPoker until 2015, and they won’t launch any sites until 2016.

These iGaming revenue numbers need a revision

The US iGaming industry didn’t even hit $150 million in total revenue in 2014. So it’s hard to see the $1.3 billion prediction becoming a reality in just two more years. But then again, we must keep in mind that Morgan Stanley predicted seven states would be involved by 2017. Furthermore, they also expected PokerStars to be entrenched in New Jersey, which hasn’t happened so far due to circumstances surrounding Chris Christie’s 2016 Presedential run. That said, it’s pretty hard to see anything major happening with iGaming in the near future.

What about New York online poker

One encouraging sign is that New York seems prepared to begin discussing iGaming in 2015. Their major hangup before was sorting through their casino licensing situation. However, they’ve since sorted this matter out and are expected to at least discuss online poker in 2015. Depending upon how these talks go, the matter could even come to a vote. Assuming the outside possibility of New York legalizing iPoker happened, it would open the state’s 19.57 million residents to online gaming.

A realistic outlook for the near future of US online poker…

Even if New York doesn’t enter the market until 2016, New York and California’s combined populations would add 57.9 million to US iPoker. Delaware, New Jersey and Nevada have a combined population of 12.59 million, meaning America’s online iGaming pool could shoot up to 70.4 million people.

Of course, there’s the matter of interstate pacts before this many people are actually linked. But if this did happen, it’s not entirely unrealistic to think that US online gaming could generate at least $600-$700 million by 2017 with only five states involved.

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