When it comes to online casinos and casino bonus codes to attract players, the United States really has a lot to learn from their British cousins. Let’s take a look at the statistics first: the GGY (gross gaming yield) value of the United States is 38 billion USD per year. The overall size of the US gambling industry is nearly 240 billion USD, and more than 1.7 million people are employed in casinos. The United Kingdom, on the other hand, has a GGY value of 14.4 billion GBP per year, and the industry employs more than 100,000 people.
It seems like the United States have bigger numbers, right? Well, of course, they have, this is a big country. But before we continue, let’s share another data: There are 460 casinos in the United States, as of 2017 (we do not know the values for 2018 and 2019, but they are in decline). In other words, this country manages to reach the numbers above with only 460 casino buildings. The United Kingdom, on the other hand, is home to 152 casino buildings, 644 bingo clubs, and 8,406 betting shops. It is almost like there is a betting opportunity on every street. The US, however, offers this option only in selected States, and mostly Nevada and New Jersey.
Now, can you guess what is the thing that the US can learn from the UK?
Short History of Legalised Gambling in Both Countries
The United Kingdom
Gambling is legal in the United Kingdom since 1960. They legalised bingo clubs first, and commercial casino buildings next. Sports betting was always legal – they were legal even during the World War I. And they were pretty quick to legalise online casinos too: the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) was established in 2005 and started to give electronic gaming licenses.
In fact, at the moment, UKGC is considered the most prestigious licensing agency in the world, due to its extensive background check, high standards, and annual fees. The United Kingdom never let the “underground world” to take control – they regulated casino industry right from the start.
The United States
The United States, on the other hand, was never too keen on legalised gambling. Until 1930, all forms of betting were illegal in the States. In 1931, Nevada legalised some forms of it, due to budget problems. Back then, Nevada was literally an empty state, and it was about to die. In fact, there are still lots of ghost towns in Nevada – the whole state was about to become a ghost city. Legalised gamble was a Hail Mary for them, and the Federal government approved it for this reason – they were unable to send any funds to the state, after all.
You already know the rest of the story: Las Vegas became the mecca of casinos in a short time. Legalised gambling was so successful that other states started to consider doing it too. However, the Federal government was still pretty conservative. Only New Jersey was brave enough to legalise sports betting and online casinos, up to an extent. And they are still the only state that legalised online casinos – believe it or not, even Nevada claims that they are illegal. (Yes, you cannot launch an online casino in Nevada, the king of legal gamble.)
In short, online casinos are not a thing in the US. There are only a couple of online casino sites, licensed from New Jersey, and they are quite poor in terms of content. And brick-and-mortar casinos are legal only in a couple of states. There is no federal agency that regulates gambling, and it is still considered illegal in more than 80% of the United States.
And still, the States manage to reach those numbers we mentioned in the beginning.
Imagine what they can do with legalised casinos.
Legal Gambling Is Good for Everybody
Let’s be honest: people will always gamble; no matter it is legal or illegal. Someone even may say that playing for money is in our genes. And there is archaeological evidence that shows even our cavemen granddaddies gambled in their caves, with dice they carved from animal bones. Banning or restricting it is not a solution: if the government does not regulate casinos, the “mafia” will take over, it is as simple as that. And “illegal” gambling is one of the reasons why gangs were so powerful in the United States. They opened up their own casino clubs, bribed the politicians, and the people still gambled. And the government did not get anything in return, which means we all lost a lot of tax revenue. And unregulated gambling always results in irresponsible betting, which is another big problem.
Why Illegal Casinos Are Dangerous?
Maybe the US should legalise all forms of gambling and issue an agency to regulate it, on a federal level. Sports betting, online casino gaming, scratch cards, horse racing, virtual betting and all forms of gambling should be legal, as soon as possible. This is the most important thing to learn from the United Kingdom: Regulated activity is better than non-regulated. It is good for the government, as it eliminates the “mafia” and gives tax revenue. It is good for players because they get to play at audited places without worrying about fairness and “rigged” games. And it is good for everybody else because that tax revenue can be used for all kinds of projects. There is also a very simple reason to do this: people already gamble, so why don’t we legalise it?
New Jersey has already legalised sports betting and online casinos. New York is about to legalise sports betting. Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Delaware legalised sports bets too and plan on legalising online casinos. The states are already doing it, so the Federal government should keep up and standardise gambling on a federal level. The United Kingdom does the same thing for the last 60 years, and the results were completely positive. Players of the United States deserve the same thing too: prohibiting something is never the solution. Legalise gambling and give freedom to the players: this is what we must learn from our British cousins.