March 12, 2024 3 min read

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Wynn Resorts CEO Joins Online Gambling Expansion Debate

The executive took it to his personal LinkedIn page to join the debate and discuss the broader impact of the expansion of online gambling across the United States

Over the last decade, online gambling has been expanding across the globe. In the last five years alone, pushed by the pandemic in early 2020, iGaming activities surged in a number of markets. The temporary closures of brick-and-mortar casinos led many gamblers to the online space. And while some returned, others chose the comfort of their home to continue gambling online.

Across the United States, only seven states offer online gambling. Compared to sports betting, which is available in nearly 40 states, iGaming is yet to lift off in many states. While the US online gambling market is yet to mature, the land-based sector continues to fear the potential negative impact of iGaming.

In a recent op-ed piece published via LinkedIn, Craig Billings, Wynn Resorts’ CEO, joined the ongoing debate about the impact of online gambling on the land-based sector. Key points raised by the seasoned executive highlighted that the gambling market share in the country will undoubtedly shift. Additionally, Billings spoke about the risks related to regulatory pushbacks and the broader impact of the iGaming sector that may affect jobs.

iGaming Expansion May Result in Job Cuts for Retail Casinos

Wynn Resorts’ boss spoke about recent the analysis and debate, confirming that those focus a lot on the tax base as well as the total addressable market (TAM). According to the experienced executive, those represent a “pretty narrow focus when considering the much broader set of implications.” He spoke about the inevitable market share shift, highlighting the competitiveness of the gambling sector as a whole.

Billings added that while there are some 1,000 tribal and commercial casinos across the US, only an estimated 10% to 15% may engage in an omnichannel strategy that involves the digital vertical. “Market share will shift.  In land-based gaming, there will be market share winners and losers.  No doubt in my mind,” wrote Billings.

He said that many gambling executives love to see the iGaming expansion from a TAM point of view. The executive explained: “Putting a casino in everyone’s pocket is great for the TAM, no doubt.  And all CEOs love TAM expansion.” However, Billings said, such TAM expansion may go against what is socially acceptable.

The expansion of iGaming across the US may have an impact not only on gambling operators but on workers as well. According to Billings, the retail gambling sector employs significantly more people when compared to the online gambling vertical. He outlined that the biggest online operators in the country employ between one to two people per million dollars in revenue. In contrast, Billings said, land-based operators employ nearly five people per million dollars of revenue.

What’s worrying in this particular case is that the market shift may ultimately impact labor. “And for the market share losers from online gaming, do you expect them to just pass the revenue loss on to their shareholders / tribes?  No, they will shed labor,” wrote Wynn Resorts’ CEO. He said that this negative impact may result in pushback from unions in different states, something that is not unexpected.

Journalist

Jerome is a welcome new addition to the Gambling News team, bringing years of journalistic experience within the iGaming sector. His interest in the industry begun after he graduated from college where he played in regular local poker tournaments which eventually lead to exposure towards the growing popularity of online poker and casino rooms. Jerome now puts all the knowledge he's accrued to fuel his passion for journalism, providing our team with the latest scoops online.

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