SBC Digital Summit: Look For Online Gambling Expansion Post-COVID-19Published May 11, 2020 by Elana K
John Pappas, a speaker at the SBC Digital Summit, anticipates that many states who previously shunned online gambling will now look to it to save their budgets.
The SBC Digital Summit took place during the last week of April and one of its many discussions centered on the future of online gambling post-COVID-19. During the current pandemic, online gambling revenue has soared in the few states that allow it, while traditional casino revenue and sports betting revenue have plummeted due to state lockdowns and the halt of major pro and college sports leagues.
During the summit, John Pappas, founder and CEO of Corridor Consulting and former executive director of the Poker Players Alliance, said that once corona is over, many states are likely to reconsider their stance on online gambling and be more open to legalization. With land-based casinos and sports betting shut down for an unknown amount of time, state budgets have been crashing and lawmakers have been left scrambling to fill the void. New Jersey and Pennsylvania alone lost $274 million in just the first month of the lockdown. Online gambling is the only area of the gambling industry that has been doing well, but currently, only a handful of states have legalized it.
Pappas anticipates that states will now be eager to legalize online gambling to help them with their budget woes, but lawmakers will need serious education. “We need to be cautious going into states that need the revenue,” he said. “We need to educate them on why having a competitive market with low tax rates and reasonable fees will create more revenue in the long term, instead of trying to get as much as they can out of this industry in a short amount of time and how that is really not the best policy.”
The SBC Digital Summit was the first of its kind, run virtually so that attendees could practice social distancing while tackling the current challenges of the gambling industry. The summit featured speakers who covered many topics, including sports betting, online gambling, payments, lotteries, leadership, digital marketing, and more. Attendees were able to listen to lectures live or to recordings later. There was even a networking lounge where people could chat one-on-one or in a group.