The gambling industry is already a 50+ billion dollar market in the United States, and 2023 will only drive profits higher, according to many experts on the subject. Here’s what industry insiders and financial analysts expect to see in 2023 — and how these changes might affect those with gambling problems.
The Move to Mobile Gaming
The continued transition to online gaming isn’t a surprise in the gambling industry, but it’s nonetheless a solid prediction for 2023. For many years now, land-based casinos have been on the decline as mobile gambling has started to dominate the market. Online casino games, sports betting apps, and live dealer games are all rising in popularity. Many gambling apps and sites are also experimenting with new types of games, such as ones that use VR technology.
Legal gambling has traditionally involved cash or credit cards, but the payment possibilities for gamblers are expanding. Soon, paying with Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies may become standard practice. The overall value of cryptocurrency may be on the decline as of January 2023, but the concept of digital currency isn’t going anywhere, so many gambling sites are already working on ways to integrate this type of payment into their systems.
The legal sports betting industry has exploded in the United States since the Supreme Court struck down the federal ban in 2018. Over 33 states have now legalized sports betting (whether online or in-person), and several others are reaching for their piece of the pie. In November 2022, New York State exceeded $1 billion in handle (total money wagered) for the ninth month of the year. Massachusetts and Ohio are set to make sports betting legal in 2023, and several other states, including North Carolina, Minnesota, Missouri, and South Carolina, either have pending legislation or have already tried to push legal sports betting through the system at least once. As the sports betting market develops further, there’s no doubt that the world of legal gambling will continue to change and grow.
Loot Box Legislation
If you’ve ever played games that involve loot boxes or “mystery boxes,” you already know the practice can be predatory. And the data exists to prove it, too. Many studies show that long-term play of these games can cause problem gambling, financial issues, and even mental health problems. (See also: “Is Magic the Gathering gambling?”)
As far as US law is concerned, buying loot boxes isn’t currently considered a form of gambling, but things are changing. In 2021, an Illinois bill sought to require a warning label on loot box games, but the bill did not pass. However, there is a fair chance that it may be reintroduced in 2023, and if it passes this year, other states may follow their example.
Other countries are taking notice, too. In the past few years, the Netherlands and Belgium have classified loot boxes as a form of gambling, and the UK is currently trying to implement more stringent age restrictions so that minors cannot purchase loot boxes without parental consent. Concerned legislators in Spain, Finland, and Australia have also proposed bills seeking to either define the practice as gambling or ensure these types of games are age-restricted.
Gambling Problem? Give Us a Call
As new and different avenues for gambling become more available to the average person, it’s more important than ever to keep an eye on your gambling habits. If you suspect you have a gambling problem, get in touch with 800-GAMBLER right away. Our confidential, toll-free hotline is staffed 24/7, and we’re always prepared to connect you to resources such as Gamblers Anonymous online. Don’t wait to call — we’re ready to help anytime.