The November election brought out record numbers of voters and with the number of voters headed to the polls, a few things were bound to change. While the presidential election took days and weeks to finally be called and acknowledged, the effects of the election were felt in the gambling industry in other ways and other realms.
Throughout a wide range of bills and referendums, sports betting and other aspects of the gambling industry won big on election day. While the specific effects of the presidential election were less present in the industry, choices by the populations in a wide range of states and across the country will be making an impact for the next several years.
2020 positive outlook
Throughout 2020, the gambling industry has had to walk a fine line. With fewer people in brick-and-mortar casinos, the entire industry has suffered through the past year.
The lack of time spent in in-person casinos has led to a redirection toward online casinos and gambling establishments. The end of the year and the election, in particular, brought a positive outlook for the industry in general.
Within 2020 nearly a thousand casinos were closed and close to 2 million jobs were impacted. Many of these casinos and jobs were reopened right before the election and profits have been growing ever since. In the months leading up to the election, Americans were surveyed and found to have more positive views of gaming than ever.
In the lead up to the election, gaming also received federal relief and the Congressional Gaming Caucus was revived to create bipartisan federal support. One of the biggest focuses for the election was not the presidential race but rather individual state and Congressional seat races.
A growing market that was up for debate in different states and Congress is sports betting. It’s currently legal in 22 states and D.C. and nearly $26 billion has been wagered since 2018. Growing this market across states and in Congress has been a focus of the gambling industry in the 2020 election.
2020 election results
At the end of the election, the voters had pushed through positive gambling initiatives in several states, pushing the industry to new highs.
Three states, Louisiana, Maryland, and South Dakota legalized sports betting while Colorado, Nebraska, and Virginia expanded casino gambling for the next few years. This makes some form of gaming legal in 44 states including USA online casino gaming.
Voters in Louisiana approved sports betting in the state. The exact bill that was passed allowed each parish to decide if the activities and operations would be legal within the confines of the parish itself. The vast majority of parishes turned in positive votes for the measure, passing it for the upcoming years.
Voters in Maryland turned out to answer the question of whether they would legalize betting on sports or other events to raise revenue for education. While trying to flush out specifics like tax rates and operator limits would be necessary before the bill went into effect, getting a positive response from voters is a great first step.
Voters in South Dakota faced a much more narrow choice when it comes to the 2020 vote. Deadwood and Native American tribal lands are the only places where gambling is legal in the state but voters approved a measure to put sports betting into the casinos in Deadwood.
Voters in Colorado made a different choice when it comes to the 2020 vote. Instead of legalizing sports betting, they’ve expanded casino gambling in the cities that allow it. Before the vote, the casinos were at the mercy of the state legislature when it came to overall gambling parameters. The vote now allows the cities to hold their referendums to increase or limit their betting range.
Voters in Nebraska chose to allow games of chance but only in horse racing venues across the state. Creating these new “racinos” allows people to gamble in the racetrack areas on the race itself and on games of chance as well.
Voters in Virginia voted to bring casinos to the commonwealth in four different cities which will then be governed by referendums that the residents must approve. They passed with overwhelming support!
There are some unique benefits to legalizing sports betting and other expansions of online and land-based casinos that make them a tantalizing option for many legislators. The vices and issues that come forward with legalized gambling can sometimes seem to overwhelm the system.
States, cities, and municipalities reap the rewards of installing these gambling establishments close by. They see taxes flood their areas as they’re collected from the casinos themselves and the winners at the tables.
People who go to attend land-based casinos often interact with the neighborhood and sit down in bars and restaurants to eat and drink while still being in the area. This helps grow the economy and is an investment in the overall area.
The 2020 election was a powerful one for the gambling industry setting the overall market up for the next few years to continue to grow and adapt to the changing times. Online casinos, sports betting, and land-based casinos topped the charts when it came to bills and referendums passed during the vote.
While the presidential election itself didn’t affect the gambling industry much, smaller and more local elections will impact the market for several years. As with nearly any industry, the most impactful elections are the ones that are done locally or within the halls of Congress.
The gambling industry has been on a steady incline and the trajectory of the market, in general, is that it will continue to grow within the next several years or decades. With everyone stuck in lockdown or unable to attend in-person casinos, some of the largest growth has been within the online section of casinos. Seeing these and sports betting grow and be approved has been an encouraging move in a year marked by closures and losses. The trend will continue and benefits will be felt by anyone in the industry!