At the turn of the century in the year 2000, online gambling proceeds were at an all-time high.
Even in its infancy, being only six years old, the online gambling industry was pulling in $2.2
billion a year, two thirds of which was coming from American pockets. The business was young
and exciting, bringing in gamblers who loved every variety of gambling, from casino games to
sports betting to poker to the lottery. Things were looking up for the online casino business, but
then a wrench dropped into the machine.
In the year 2008, one particular piece of legislation went through, and it was as cryptic as it was
deafening. Without banning online casinos, without regulating online gambling behavior at all,
the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act declared that banks and credit card companies
could no longer handle transactions for online gambling purposes.
The act caused much confusion and disruption. Many internationally owned online gambling
businesses closed their doors to the U.S. shutting out about two thirds of their revenue. Others
stayed open, but for a chosen few, it wasn’t for long. To demonstrate that they were serious, in
2011, the United States government shut down multiple gambling websites for violating the
dreaded UIGEA. The government seized domain names, froze customer accounts, and issued
restraining orders against 77 bank accounts, multiples of which did not even reside in the United
States. The strangest part is that all of the targeted websites specialized in poker.
Thus ended the poker market in the United States. A few online casinos have been brave enough
to stay open, but others have long since packed their bags. But wait, things get better.
The year 2013 brought on the rebirth of the American online gambling business. Two new
venues shattered the gambling norm: mobile gaming and social gaming. The two may not appear
directly related to gambling. After all, gambling is not just a game. Surprisingly, online casinos
make up one fifth of the social gambling industry, a business which managed to net $8 billion in
2013 alone. This number is nothing compared to the mobile gambling proceeds, though: $10
billion in wagers in that same year.
It is hard to argue with that kind of data. It just goes to show, where there is a demand, there is a
supply. So long as there are still more and more players eager to hit the online casinos, the
business can only grow.