Washington State Gambling to Soar 37% by 2020November 17, 2016 12:44 pm
Washington is one of the USA’s most liberal gambling states, with the region hosting more than 100 Native American casinos across 75 of its cities, as well dozens of live card rooms, a horseracing industry, and a lottery. According to a recent study sponsored by the Washington State Gambling Commission (WSGC), its industry is only expected to grow further in the coming years, with gross gaming revenues likely to soar 37% to $3.5 billion by the year 2020.
The research was carried out by the Spectrum Gaming Group, which cited a number of factors that will account for the increase, including a 5.3% population growth over the next five years, a greater percentage of people living within an hour’s drive of the state’s casinos, and the use of emergent technologies to help draw millennials to their gambling venues.
One of the chief factors, however, will be the opening of two new casino hotels in 2017, namely The Point Casino in Kitsap County, and the Legends Casino in Yakima County, which together will increase the number of the state’s slot machines and table games from 31,505 to 35,081.
Another area that could help the state’s gambling market grow further would be the legalization of online poker and casino games, and as the study explains: “In our opinion, Washington has similar demographic factors to New Jersey, such as household income and population over 21 years old. As such, with a reasonable tax rate (15 percent or less) and an offering that includes slot machines, table games and poker, Spectrum estimates the potential for Washington iGaming GGR to be approximately $100 million.”
According to more optimistic forecasts, that figure could even reach $150 million or more, with the study also pointing out that the cannibalization of land-based operations was unlikely to occur, if the experience of New Jersey is anything to go on. Finally, the study asserts that legalizing Daily fantasy sports industry has the potential to generate a further $10 million in state gambling revenues.