There’s more than just one person stating that online casinos are doing no harm at all to land based establishments, and although Keith Smith, President and CEO of Boyd Gaming may be one of the more prominent figures telling us that online casinos are not taking revenue away from more traditional casinos, he has some pretty esteemed company giving out the same message. The argument that online casinos will eat away at the land based casinos revenue share has of course been bandied around for a few years now, however commenting on the New Jersey situation Smith states that, “About 85 percent of our online players have not had rated play at Borgata in at least two years, showing there is little overlap with our land-based business.” He continued with, “Online gaming is growing our database, creating a long term opportunity to market Borgata to an entirely new group of customers.”
There are other high profile gaming professionals saying the same thing and Thomas Winter of the Golden Nugget recently told reporters that they expect somewhere between 60 and 70 percent of their online casino games players to never, or at least very infrequently visit their bricks and mortar casino. It’s the same message being received from Delaware where Ed Sutor, Dover Downs CEO says regarding their players that they are, “not going to go to the internet. You’re talking about a new market, a new demographic. Some of them may try just for fun, but they’ve been used to coming here and they love the personal touch, the customer service. They’re still going to go for the spa treatments.” Mitch Garber of Caesar’s drives home the same message with, ”It’s been proved for a long time, in the U.K. and Australia, that online gaming does not cannibalize offline gaming.”
There’s much evidence backing up these claims and an AGA survey from back in 2012 led to results that showed online gaming would indeed grow a land based casinos customer base, with another survey by Philander and Fielder stating that, “the presence of online poker may increase demand of ofﬂine gambling overall. These ﬁndings suggest that the ofﬂine gambling industry should not generally be adverse to the expansion of Internet poker.” In Nevada there is no evidence at all that the regulated online poker rooms are affecting land based casinos in the state, adding further to the overall amount of evidence that is contrary to those that state online gambling can hurt the offline side of the industry.