It’s difficult to see how much things change in a decade if you’re living through the changes. Small things happen that don’t seem like a big deal, but when all of the small things come together they often create a big change that no one seems to notice.
Changes are coming faster and faster in the world because of technology and the open availability of knowledge. The availability of just about anything you want to know is just a few seconds away by searching on the cell phone in your pocket or on your computer. This means that things are changing faster than ever.
Some of these changes are good, like advances in medicine, and some of them are bad, like evil people being able to access information and products they need to advance their evil causes. Advancement in all areas is going to continue, so the smart people and companies are looking for new ways to take advantage of changes.
The gambling industry is not immune to advancements. Things have changed in several areas in the last 10 years, and they’re going to continue changing. Here are four gambling prophecies for the next 10 years. All four of them are already happening to some degree, but all four of them are going to continue and accelerate in the coming decade.
1 – Sports Betting Lines Are Going to Get Tighter
Sportsbooks have been getting better at setting tight lines for several years. And I predict that they’re going to continue improving their lines over the next decade. Everyone has access to more information and analysis about sports and athletes than ever before.
Smart sports bettors are using this information to make better betting decisions, and the sportsbooks are using it to make tighter lines.
Consider some of the advanced statistical measures you have access to today that didn’t exist a decade ago. In baseball, wins above replacement, or WAR, and defensive zone rating help bettors predict outcomes of games in ways they never could before.
The sportsbooks dedicate more resources and time to setting their lines than sports bettors, and the books are already using all of the information they can access. The books are going to continue using advanced statistical data and refining their lines. Eventually it’s going to eliminate profitable betting opportunities for all but the top few percent of sports bettors.
2 – Good Blackjack Games Are Going to Be Harder to Find
It’s harder to find good blackjack games than it was 10 years ago, and it’s only going t get worse. This is evident by the influx of 6 to 5 tables. And even the tables that still pay 3 to 2 are using worse rules on average than in the past.
Sadly, I don’t see this trend reversing. As long as blackjack players are playing on tables with poor rules, why would the casinos change anything? Most blackjack players have no idea how the rules hurt them, and the casinos don’t want smart blackjack players anyway. As long as the casinos can fill table with poor rules they make more money and the added benefit is they make the advantage players look elsewhere.
The one place where you’re probably still going to be able to find blackjack tables with decent rules is online, but online tables have a few advantages for the casinos that land based tables don’t. Online casinos can offer better blackjack rules because advantage players can’t beat the games by counting and players can play more hands per hour than they can play live.
It’s also cheaper for an online casino to offer blackjack than a land based casino because they don’t have the same overhead. They don’t have to pay a dealer, buy a table and cards, and keep a giant building running like a land based casino.
3 – Online Gambling Will Be Legalized and Taxed in Most of the United States
Technically, for this prophecy to be true there only needs to be legalized online gambling in 26 out of the 50 states. I don’t think there’s any question that this is going to happen, and I don’t think it’s going to take 10 years. I wouldn’t be surprised if some form of legalized online gambling will be available in 45 or more of the 50 states in 10 years.
A few states, like Utah and Hawaii, basically don’t offer any kind of gambling and don’t seem inclined to change. But most states are more interested in tax revenue than policing their citizens, so if they can increase tax revenues they’re willing to at least consider just about anything.
You’re currently seeing more and more states legalize sports betting, and the United States already has legalized online poker and online casinos in a few states. While it may seem slow, the fact is that online gambling legalization is spreading in the United States.
The United States has a unique legal situation with some powers resting in the federal government’s hands and other powers in the state’s control. It’s possible that the federal government will try to create some form of legalized online gambling system, but the most likely scenario is that it continues to be on a state by state basis.
The biggest thing that’s driving, and going to continue driving this, is that United States citizens are already gambling real money online and the states aren’t collecting taxes from most of this activity. It’s obvious that the states and federal government isn’t going to be able to completely shut down online gambling, because they’ve tried and failed.
The next step is legalizing it and taxing it. They might as well make some money from it if they can’t stop it. I don’t see how anything else can realistically happen in the next 10 years.
4 – Land Based Casino Companies Are Going to Take Over Online Gambling
Land based casino and gambling companies are already moving into online casino and gambling activities in regulated markets, and this trend is going to accelerate. For many years there was a divide between land based and online gambling. Companies either ran land based operations or online operations.
Many owners of land based gambling companies have fought online gambling tooth and nail. This makes sense, because online gambling targets the same customers as land based gambling companies, and it’s more convenient for gamblers to log in and gamble from home on their computer, tablet, or smart phone than fight traffic and take the time to travel to a land based casino, sportsbook, or poker room.
Even though the land based gambling owners have been able to delay the legalization of online gambling in some areas, more and more localities are choosing to legalize and get a piece of what’s already happening through taxation. Just like I predicted continued online gambling expansion in the United States in the last section, gambling is also going to continue expanding throughout the rest of the world.
The smartest land based gambling owners are already attacking the online gambling market where they can do so legally, and these companies are going to have a head start on the ones that are still fighting against it.
But the owners of the most successful land based gambling companies aren’t stupid, and eventually they’re all going to see the tide has turned and jump on the online gambling bandwagon.
When this happens, the owners are going to start buying up online gambling sites and launching their own online gambling portals. You’re still going to find some independent online gambling portals, but the big corporations are going to squeeze out many medium and small players in the industry.
I don’t know if this shift to the big land based players taking over online gambling is good or bad. I’ve always leaned toward the freedom and entrepreneurial spirit of independent operators, but there are problems associated with a market driven by small independents. Of course, there are also issues with big corporations running things too, so a healthy mix might still be the best possible outcome.
Many things change in the world every decade, and the gambling industry is no different. Many changes are coming in the next 10 years, and the four prophecies I made on this page have a high chance of coming true.
You’re already seeing tighter lines and fewer good blackjack tables than 10 years ago, and online gambling is slowly being legalized in the United States. In some countries land based gambling companies are moving into online gambling, and this is bound to continue.