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Industry study shows iGaming and bricks-and-mortar casinos can co-exist — and make money

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As Maryland lawmakers weigh whether to bring iGaming to the state, the industry is out with a new study designed to show that bricks-and-mortar casinos continue to thrive even when states allow residents to gamble on their phones and computers — and that gaming revenue in the state can grow exponentially.

The 167-page study from the Sports Gaming Alliance looks at the six states where iGaming is currently legal to extrapolate how it would impact the economies in five states where it’s currently being proposed — including in Maryland. The study combines economic and statistical methods with consumer survey data and concludes that iGaming and land-based gaming serve different, complementary purposes.

The study, “The Potential Economic Impact of Legalizing iGaming on Casino Revenues in Five States (New York, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, and Virginia),” was commissioned by the Sports Gaming Alliance, a consortium of top gambling companies that includes DraftKings, BetMGM, FanDuel and Fanatic Sports Book. It was prepared by the Analysis Group, an international economic research company.

The economic analysis found that in the six states where iGaming is currently legal — New Jersey, Delaware, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Michigan, and Connecticut — land-based casino revenue increased by almost 2% after the introduction of iGaming. It also found that overall gaming revenue in the iGaming states was 46% higher in 2023 than it was before those states implemented iGaming.

The study is being released as the General Assembly considers a measure that would place a ballot initiative to bring iGaming to Maryland before voters this November. House leaders see expanded gambling as one of several possibilities for raising revenue in the state — an idea Senate leaders and Gov. Wes Moore (D) have so far resisted.

A legislative fiscal analysis suggests iGaming could bring the state as much as $206.5 million in revenues beginning in fiscal year 2026, and could yield $339.2 million by fiscal 2029.

The bill authorizing the referendum passed the House 92-43 on Saturday, and has been referred to the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee. The bill sponsor, House Ways and Means Chair Vanessa E. Atterbeary (D-Howard), envisions most of the iGaming revenue being used to fund the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future education reform plan.

With less than three weeks left in the legislative session, the chances of the two sides coming together seem slim — but a conference committee on the House and Senate versions of the state’s annual operating budget is expected to start meeting next week. Senate President Bill Ferguson (D-Baltimore City) this week said senators are “a hard no” on iGaming.

The study showed that in Maryland, gaming revenues increased by 16.2% annually between 2012 and 2023, but that the rate of growth has slowed to 2.5% annually over the past five years. Even so, gaming revenues were a healthy $2 billion in 2023, the study showed. And sports gaming, in its first full year in Maryland, generated $149 million.

While the analysis estimated that land-based casino revenue is projected to continue to grow at a rate of 2.5% over the next few years if there is no change in state policy, it could grow by 4.4% when the multiplying effect of iGaming is factored in to the calculation.

“The fact that Maryland’s gaming revenues have increased substantially in the presence of sports betting revenues indicates that the two sources of revenues may be complements rather than substitutes,” the study’s authors wrote.

In Maryland alone, the study found that bricks-and-mortar casinos would see an additional $224 million in increased revenue growth if iGaming passes. Both the iGaming and land-based casino market would grow in the five years after passage, the study suggested — from a combined $2 billion in revenue a year in 2024 to $3.9 billion in 2029, a 91% increase.

In addition to the economic impact analysis, the Analysis Group economists designed and conducted a survey of 2,389 current and prospective gaming consumers. The survey asked detailed questions on the consumers’ iGaming and retail gaming use and preferences.

“The majority of consumers who engage in iGaming indicate that they have not decreased their Land-based casino gaming activity (in terms of both visit frequency and total spend) after starting iGaming,” the authors wrote.

This is not the first time that the Sports Gaming Alliance has sought to influence policy and policymakers in Maryland. The group was heavily involved in the successful efforts to pass a sports gaming ballot initiative in 2020.

Last year, the Maryland State Board of Elections fined the alliance $48,000 for failing to comply with the state’s requirement that independent political entities disclose expenditures of more than $10,000 within 48 hours. An alliance spokesperson at the time blamed the organization’s compliance team for the failure to file the required notice.


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Industry study shows iGaming and bricks-and-mortar casinos can co-exist — and make money