The Evolution of Gambling in the U.S.

We see it in movies, television series and even in music videos, you cannot avoid it. Casinos are everywhere and for good reason. But while many visit the U.S. casinos to indulge in the glamour and thrill, not many people know how American casinos became the huge industry, we see today. 

How it all began 

How the U.S. became a gambler’s paradise is a tale of British colonies, the legalization of gambling, and riverboat casinos. To understand the development, we have to go back to the late 1500s, before the U.S. even existed. Settlers were lax towards betting at local casinos, and this was the beginning of the industry. 

There would be gambling establishments in the country, but because they were illegal, they were later put on riverboats in the Mississippi river. Interestingly, in 2022, the very first riverboat from the river set sail again. It was in 1941 when the first hotel casino opened in Las Vegas. It can seem surprising, how Las Vegas was a small railroad town before it became a booming city with extravagant resorts.

Online casinos in the U.S.

But while you could think Nevada would be the mecca for online casinos as well, you would be wrong. The title for most online casinos goes to the state of New Jersey, as there are more online casinos here than in any state in the U.S. 

New Jersey became the second state to legalize gambling, and Atlantic City is popular for the boardwalk, where thousands of tourists flock to play. But online casinos are surely gaining popularity, as both locals and tourists in New Jersey discover how easy it is to check out the newest casinos and get great bonuses along with great prizes. 

If you have seen the movie The Gambler, you know what can happen if you don’t play safely. And before the 1930s, a lot of establishments were illegal unlike today, where you can play at legal casinos not only here in Hollywood, but also in Nevada and New Jersey. Those two states were some of the first to legalize gambling, which paved the way for future games. 

Today, there is more safety awareness when playing at a casino, and this has also paved the way for online casinos. Some would deem it risky to play at an online casino because hackers can get access to personal and credit card information. But because of this, gambling sites shield themselves with encryption and other safety measures to protect users.  

The state of casinos today

This begs the question of where casinos are today. In 2021, the gambling industry in the United States reached almost 53 billion U.S. dollars in revenue. The pandemic was a big part of kickstarting the interest in new users, as many found solidarity in the gambling community. Because gambling sites are intuitive and offer great bonuses, new players found it easy to jump on the hype train. 

Many are speculating on the future of online casinos as virtual reality, cryptocurrency is just some of the new trends surrounding the industry. One thing is for sure; online casinos are here to stay.