The Rapid Rise of the Online Casino in the United States


Aaron Phelps, Account Director – US, Digital Fuel Marketing.

Since New Jersey legalised online casino wagering in 2013, the industry has steadily maintained consistent growth in the United States, year on year, with established land casino brands eager to become just as dominant in the online space as they are in venues across the likes of Las Vegas, Atlantic City and Reno. 

As iGaming competition grew in the state of New Jersey, the culture around online gambling also began to shift. With more regulated options available, and more people playing, online casinos became a natural part of life for New Jersey residents. 

As a result, much of the US has eased into online gaming; there is less stigma attached to gambling and gamblers. Combine this with more internet-connected consumers than has ever been before, and we can expect to see the numbers in this market continue to grow. 

Gambling Breaks Ground in the United States.

The most eventful year for gambling in the United States was undoubtedly 2018. This year marked a milestone, with gamblers witnessing the Supreme Court of the United States overturn the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), which had — back in 1992 — effectively outlawed sports betting across most of the United States, save a few special cases. 

The 14th of May 2018 marked the day that PASPA was overturned and States were free to legalise and regulate sports betting as they saw fit, which some States immediately acted upon, passing bills to legislate for regulated gambling on sports.  

All Up From Here.

Between 2018 and 2019, online casino revenue jumped up 53 percent. Since 2014 it has skyrocketed a staggering 395 percent. And this is just the beginning. 

Only a few months ago, in late 2019, the United States had another significant win for gambling. Google began accepting search ads from gambling companies (in the legalised States), resulting in an increase in exposure for the consumer, giving the market a brand new avenue through which to boost their player acquisition numbers. 

With uptake slower than many had predicted following the overturning of PASPA, the US market still has a long way to grow, both in sports betting and the online casino space. However the States that make a success of this newly developing market will surely encourage others to follow suit, lest they get left behind and miss out on the not inconsiderable tax income.

As It Stands Today.

As of early 2020, there are only three states in the US where you can legally play casino games online: Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware. However, with sports betting beginning to take off, where there are now nine states allowing offering regulated online sportsbooks, there are signs that casino will follow suit. 

With this market still in its infancy, major players in the sector are continuing to focus on mergers and acquisitions. So far we have seen daily fantasy sports operator FanDuel acquired by PaddyPower Betfair, Barstool Sports sold a stake to Penn National (operator of the brand) and Sky Bet’s parent company The Stars Group launched FOX Bet in partnership with FOX Sports.

Getting Ahead as the Competition Heats Up.

As the competition in each market increases, the strategy for acquiring customers needs to be well thought out and aligned throughout the business. There is much opportunity for operators, both large and up-and-coming. Those with the most effective marketing will win the battle for customer acquisition, and new and existing operators must be tightening their strategies before their competition only gets more intense. 

The challenge in the US, and the gambling sector in general, is that regulations and standards are continually changing and operators need to be knowledgeable, agile and three steps ahead of their competition at all times. This requires strong planning and cut-through marketing tactics that are powerful and compliant with all rules and regulations that are in place in any particular state.

Licensed to Operate in the USA.

Our agency has worked tirelessly to cement our position in the USA. In June 2019, the license acceptance in Pennsylvania was a massive step forward in Digital Fuel Marketing’s expansion strategy across the US, with our approval to operate in New Jersey received earlier in 2019 having completed an Ancillary Casino Service Industry Enterprise License application.

As the US online casino market opens up, our early positioning into the market in Pennsylvania and New Jersey places us in an advantageous position to bring our customer acquisition and retention specialism to US operators in regulated States.

Digital Fuel Marketing offers marketing strategy, media buying, content & optimisation and consultancy services to operators in Pennsylvania, as well as affiliate marketing solutions on a fixed fee basis. As an agency, we have already been working in the USA for the past two years, delivering campaigns across gaming verticals, and thus we have a deep understanding of the US market and how to react to its growing demands.

A Partner You Can Trust.

Before touching down in the US in 2017, Digital Fuel Marketing spent many years working across the globe in major online casino markets, such as the UK and Australia, working with operators in sports betting, casino, poker, lottery and more — TAB, Ladbrokes, Unibet and 888 among others — to streamline their marketing strategy, affiliate management, media buying, and search visibility. 

Since establishing in the US, we have been delivering campaigns focused on daily fantasy sports (DFS), poker, casino, and sports betting. We have access to a host of new commercial agreements through our license application acceptances, and the American Gambling Awards recognised us as a finalist for the Service Provider of the Year award in 2019. 

With a global team, strategically placed to be able to offer 24/7 support, we bring a combined 50+ years of iGaming experience to the US to help our US clients deliver exceptional growth.

To make your own waves in the American market, boost customer acquisition and grow your brand get in touch with the team at Digital Fuel Marketing.