Online gambling in the US was once a niche form of entertainment, associated more with computer geeks than the public at large, with European gamers being much more receptive to iGaming than their American counterparts. That has all changed with the past couple of years.
Partly due to relaxing gambling laws in the US and partly due to a wider cultural and technological shift, online gambling in America is now more popular than ever, now being reported to be worth around $37 billion in revenues per year.
More and more Americans are eschewing land-based casinos in order to gamble via their computers and smartphones, but what games are they actually playing? Read on to find out the most popular online casino games in America at the moment.
This may not come as much of a surprise, given how ubiquitous online slots are with online gaming. Slot machines remain by far the most frequently-played type of game in America’s digital casinos, with millions of people playing them regularly across the country. While players enjoy the fact that most online slots can be played for fun without having to wager any cash, the fact that you can also play slots for real money and win million-dollar prizes from a single spin has also been a major draw. There isn’t as much strategy involved with online slot games, with players more likely enjoying them based on particular themes or bonus features offered by the thousands of different online slots currently active across the US.
Online blackjack has been a mainstay ever since the very first days of online casino gaming, with its enduring popularity being quite easy to understand. Blackjack is an icon of American culture, appearing in countless Hollywood films such as The Hangover and Martin Scorcese’s Oscar-winning classic Casino. As you likely already know, the goal of the game is to be dealt a hand where the numbers are as close to 21 without going over it and beating the dealer. The latest technological development which has boosted the popularity of blackjack is live streaming, which has allowed casinos to offer live online blackjack with real-life dealers. This immersive experience is currently being developed even further with the help of virtual reality technology, which allows players to have the full Las Vegas experience without ever leaving their home.
Video poker has been hugely popular in Las Vegas casinos for decades now, even nearly overtaking slot machines in terms of revenue at one point. While not as popular as it was during its 1980s heyday, video poker is undergoing something of a resurgence in online casinos across America right now. The most popular variation of video poker was and still continues to be Deuces Wild, in which all 2s act as “wild cards” which can up your winnings considerably. The genre has moved on considerably in the digital age, offering more realistic graphics, in-depth environments, and even the chance for players to build and customize their own avatar poker players. Video poker is likely the online casino game which most closely resembles conventional video gaming, which might explain its popularity.
Roulette has always had strong connotations of glamor and privilege, The mere mention of the game instantly conjures up images of tuxedos, martinis, and a very refined form of hedonism which belongs to a bygone era. Fortunately, thanks to the internet, American gamers can participate in this gilded world from the comfort of their own living room. American roulette, which differs considerably from French roulette, is unsurprisingly the most popular gaming option in American online casinos. American roulette has the addition of a 00 pocket as well as the 0 pocket that a French roulette wheel has. While this means that your chances of winning at American roulette are actually slightly lower than in the French variation, it still remains the more popular game.
Few people could have predicted the rise of online bingo in American households. The game, which was first popularized in the UK, has long been associated with the elderly as a retirement home past time. These days, however, bingo has taken on a new form. Online bingo is big business in the US and is getting bigger with each passing day. The first form of online bingo to launch in the country was a free-to-play title called ‘Bingo Zone’, released in 1996. Since then, the online bingo industry has ballooned, being worth over $2 billion a year compared to almost nothing just a decade ago. What’s more, the average American who regularly plays online bingo is under 50 years of age, meaning that this is a game that is proving more popular with the younger generations than with the older ones.
Online gambling is fast emerging as one of the cornerstones of America’s entertainment industry. It will be interesting to see how more conventional video game companies adapt in the future in order to compete with this growing sector.