G2E summit 2021: 3 key takeaways

The Global Gaming Expo (G2E) summit returned to Las Vegas as an in-person event last week. After the 2020 conference had been cancelled due to COVID, gaming analysts were keen to hear what the speakers at the AGA’s summit had to say about the past, present, and future of US gambling. These were our 3 main takeaways.

American operators need to learn from their European counterparts when it comes to responsible gambling and advertising.

The AGA’s very own Bill Miller kicked off proceedings with his state of the nation address. Miller started off by praising the growth in the gambling industry since the end of lockdowns – pointing out that 2021 revenues were on pace to beat even 2019’s record-breaking figures.

However, Miller said, the US industry must pay close attention to the issues of responsible gambling and advertising. Pointing out that states were already applying increasing scrutiny towards advertising saturation and aggressive promotions, he cautioned operators to look toward the situation in Sweden, Italy, and Spain, where gambling advertising has been strictly curtailed.

Land-based slot machines are getting larger

Slot developer Aristocrat unveiled its new Dune slot machine, timed to be released on October 22nd, at the same time as the upcoming movie itself.

The sheer physical size of the slot itself is what garnered the greatest attention of the public, offering an immersive experience thanks to a 49-inch 4K monitor. We wonder if this will herald a new type of Vegas slot experience – all that viewing space would be ideal for some of the expanding reels slots games we have seen at online casinos in the past few years.

A possible explanation for why online sports betting legalization has outstripped online casino regulation so far in the US

As an online casino site, we were particularly intrigued by comments from Howard Glazer. As head of government affairs and legislative counsel for Scientific Gaming, Glazer has his finger on the pulse of how states compare the two main verticals of online gambling in a way few of us have. According to Glazer, “Legislators see sports betting as being more about sports than it is about betting, whereas iGaming is a pure form of gaming”, adding that “they have concerns about that, as far as responsible gambling.”

So, there we have it – the reason why almost half of states now regulate online sports betting (with more to come in 2022) whereas only 6 states have done the same for online casinos, is due to responsible gambling concerns.

Glazer then dropped a tantalising hint about the next states to legalize online casino gambling in the next few years – suggesting that there will be “one large, four smaller”. What is the identity of the next large state where online casino should become legalized?

Our money is on New York at the moment. Texas seems to have made up its mind that online gambling will stay illegal for the foreseeable future, while Florida and California are both mired in legal sports betting battles which will not fully resolve themselves until after the 2022 mid-terms.

Until then, US real money casino fans will have to make do with the legal online options in states which have decide to press ahead with regulating this popular market.

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