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iGaming enhances, rather than replaces, land-based casino revenue, according to a new study from Eilers & Krejcik Gaming (EKG).

Based on examinations of both physical and online casino growth rates across the six US legal iGaming states, the study reported a 2.44% quarterly revenue boost for land-based entities following online regulation.

The study also revealed the online gaming benefits of a different consumer base from its land-based counterparts, with iGaming players tending to be moderately younger and more predominantly male.

After communicating with casino operators, the report noted that casinos themselves had not noted any cannibalisation effects.

During the survey, 100% of operators said revenue had “stayed roughly the same” or even “moderately increased” following the introduction of iGaming.

“The closer you look at the data, the better it is for the casino markets that have added iGaming,” said Eilers & Krejcik Gaming managing director Matt Kaufman.

“Nearly all states with mature casino markets have experienced land-based casino declines this century.

“States that have introduced iGaming have been materially more likely to see that decline flattening, and at times even returning to growth, compared to states with only land-based casinos.”

The report argued the reason for this lack of cannibalisation or crowding out effect was that the two segments have different player bases and offer different experiences to users.

For example, online players tend to have a narrower experience than casino visitors as they spend less time gambling and gamble with broader stakes.

Study commissioned after previous “flawed methodology”

The iDEA Growth trade body, which commissioned the EKG study, claimed the 32-page report is the most comprehensive ever compiled on the effects of iGaming introduction to the land-based sector.

The study, “Comparing Online and Land-based Casino Gaming”, was drawn up by iDEA in response to previous studies that used “flawed methodology” or overlooked key factors, in its view.

Fears of revenue cannibalisation can impact the passage of iGaming legislation in some US states where existing land-based interests are a powerful lobbying force.

The study features a section which critiques several alleged methodological errors produced in a Maryland gaming regulator-commissioned study, which warned of cannibalisation affects.

These included double counting population growth, ignoring the effects of Covid-19 on the land-based sector, and including children as part of the potential gambling population.

Maryland state legislators will meet later this month to discuss iGaming legislation.

“iDEA welcomes these findings so that the debate around iGaming is centred on real facts and data,” said iDEA founder and general counsel Jeff Ifrah.

“This study bolsters our advocacy efforts in key states, and we look forward to sharing the information with policymakers,” he added.

iGaming is currently legal in Connecticut, Delaware, Michigan, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia.

Rhode Island will join those states in April, while New York and Maryland have tabled bills to be considered by the respective legislatures. 

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