It is a “matter of when and how, not if” casino slot machine maker Aristocrat Leisure Ltd enters the iGaming market in the United States, says a Tuesday note from JP Morgan Securities Australia Ltd.
The institution defined iGaming as slot and table games using real-money stakes, and played online – as opposed to free-play, so-called ‘social casino’ products played online, a market segment in which Aristocrat Leisure already has a presence.
The iGaming model was “currently legal in six U.S. states, and with a very different customer base than free-to-play online casinos/slots,” said the note from analysts Donald Carducci and Abhinay Jeggannagari.
They estimated the largest state market for iGaming in the U.S., was New Jersey, which the analysts said was “on pace” for approximately US$900 million in gross gaming revenue (GGR) for 2020; with the Pennsylvania market worth about “US$400 million-plus” in GGR terms.
“We expect four additional states to legalise iGaming in the coming years, driven by tax opportunities and sports-betting expansion,” added the JP Morgan team.
Australia-listed Aristocrat Leisure had the ability to “build once and distribute twice,” said the institution. That was a reference to “overlapping” research and development potential between social casino free-to-play games, and iGaming.
Aristocrat Leisure’s first-half results for the six months to March 31 saw a 19-percent increase in revenue in its digital division.
The same month it had been announced that Aristocrat Leisure was to pay US$31 million, as part of a US$155-million class-action settlement centring on two lawsuits in the U.S. state of Washington concerning Internet-delivered games. The lawsuits related to the Big Fish Games brand, acquired by Aristocrat Leisure for US$990 million in January 2018.
It had been alleged the Big Fish brand offered certain products that were actually games of chance, of a type prohibited under Washington state law.
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