New Jersey’s gaming industry is awaiting a decision as lawmakers contemplate whether to grant a two-year extension to the state’s profitable internet gambling market. This comes despite the industry’s request for a 10-year extension.
The bill, which originally aimed to prolong online casino gambling through 2033, was amended to a two-year extension during a state Assembly committee hearing, although details of the changes were not made public at the time, and lawmakers were unavailable for comment upon local media inquiries following the vote.
Internet gambling has proven to be a triumph in New Jersey, outperforming the five other states where it is permitted in terms of revenue. Since its launch in November 2013, Atlantic City’s casinos and their online partners have amassed $6.29 billion from online gamblers, excluding sports bets, according to the American Gaming Association.
The introduction of online gambling has been widely recognized for its instrumental role in keeping Atlantic City’s casinos afloat during the 2020 COVID-19 shutdowns and subsequent reopening phases, as it provided an alternative for gamblers who were reluctant to visit crowded indoor spaces.
“The reauthorization of the internet gaming bill for 10 years is vital to the continued success of the gaming industry in New Jersey and the programs that are supported by the taxes collected,” emphasized Mark Giannantonio, president of Resorts Casino Hotel and the Casino Association of New Jersey, as per Associated Press.
While internet gambling has undeniably provided a new revenue stream for Atlantic City’s casinos, it has also led to a shift in gambling behavior, as some players now prefer the convenience of betting from the comfort of their homes, offices, or even the beach.
Jane Bokunewicz, Director of the Lloyd Levenson Institute at Stockton University, explained that internet gambling is becoming part of the “new normal” for many gamblers.
Casino executives caution that relying solely on reported internet gambling winnings can be misleading when assessing the overall health of their businesses. A significant portion of online winnings is shared with partners such as tech platforms and sportsbooks. Some executives estimate that up to 70% of online winnings go to their partners in online ventures.
Aside from New Jersey, internet gambling is legal in Pennsylvania, Nevada, Michigan, Delaware, and West Virginia. The final decision on the extension of New Jersey’s internet gambling market remains uncertain, pending further deliberation by state lawmakers, and it is unclear when a final vote might be held.