The State of New Jersey Against Naysayers

Internet gambling received a green light in New Jersey in 2013, and ever since then, the state has been forced to withstand complaints, verbal attacks and actions from the very vocal opponents of the regulation. Most of it in the service of various political agendas that have very little to do with the actual social and economic effects that iGaming might produce. Those against the legalization of online casinos never run short of arguments, but the bulk of it is centered around the looming dangers of black markets, gambling addiction and under-age consumers.

The detractors have lately resorted to instilling fear into Atlantic City by claiming that online casinos will quickly ‘’cannibalize’’ the land-based industry. However, a recent report published in May 2017 by an industry expert, analyst and writer Chris Grove, shows that both terrestrial casinos and their online outlets are, in fact, doing great and that the real state of things in New Jersey’s gambling scene is nothing short of excellent.

Facts vs. Deception

Regulated Online Gambling: Building a Stronger New Jersey, testifies about hundreds of millions in revenue and taxes for the casinos and the state, thousands of new jobs and growing opportunities for more future employments. According to the paper, the market is going strong, attracting new investments and reputable gaming companies who are now looking to get a piece of the pie for themselves. Revenue gains from casino and poker have been described as ‘’impressive’’, having in mind the venues have only been active for a couple of years, with an estimated monthly earnings of about $10 million across all regulated establishments, and about $500 million in total since November 2013.

Contrary to what the anti-regulation advocates warned about, iGaming substantially supports Atlantic City casino business, revitalizing the industry and generating additional revenue for all gambling establishments. The success of online wagering took nothing away from brick and mortar casinos, neither customers nor money, as misleading headlines were insinuating.

Record-breaking Revenue

Steadily growing since the inception in November 2013, New Jersey iGaming revenues peaked in March 2017, reaching a historical figure of $21 million. It was a record-breaking amount which exceeded all estimations.

The Golden Nugget and Borgata topped their earnings from the month before, contributing the most with their own milestones on revenue charts, followed by Tropicana and Caesars at the bottom, reporting a significant drop in poker operations. All operators reported that almost 80% of online gamblers are, in fact, new customers who were not registered in the land-based database, meaning the income is completely separate and doesn’t detract from, land-based facilities.

Safe, Secure and Fair

Another primary concern of the opposition had to with customer protection and security measures incorporated into the regulatory framework, or how efficient it is when it comes to promoting responsible gambling and keeping anyone outside of New Jersey from accessing online games. According to the statements made by New Jersey government officials and Division of Gaming Enforcement, the system works as intended, just as it does for brick and mortar casinos. There has been no major malfunctions, failures or issue that would cause any valid concern over the integrity of the system. Geolocation ensures that every customer comes from the territory of the state, and features such as deposit limits or self-exclusion options are regularly utilized across all gaming venues.

Chris Grove concludes the report by stating that New Jersey regulation proved a success on all fronts. He warns about misguided information, indicating that the incentive did well enough to be considered by other states.