New Jersey Online Gambling A Test Case For Other US StatesNovember 27, 2013 11:41 am
New Jersey’s fledgling online gambling industry went live this week, marking the biggest expansion of gambling since Atlantic City approved casinos back in 1978. In addition, the Garden State has also become a test case on whether internet and land-based casinos can thrive side-by-side.
New Jersey isn’t the first state to offer legal online gambling within its own borders, as Nevada launched its first legal poker-only product in April, while Delaware became the first state to offer a full online gambling casino service last month. However, with New Jersey boasting a population of nearly 9 million, the potential of its market easily dwarfs that of both Nevada (2,758,931) and Deleware (918,000).
However, analysts differ greatly on the potential size of New Jersey’s online gambling industry, with varying estimates ranging between $300 million in revenue and $45 million in tax collections, up to $1.2 billion for its first year of operation and $180 million in taxes. In addition, other experts even predict that online gambling may actually cannibalize the already beleaguered New Jersey gambling market as players may decide to gamble at home rather than travel to land-based casinos.
Others have also aired concerns that online gambling sites may fuel addiction amongst locals, a claim dismissed by Brian Mattingley, CEO of 888 Holdings, who sees the potential to monitor and reach out to problem gamblers more easily.
“Internet gambling is not an evil thing. In fact, the opposite. We know who our customers are. We have their credit cards on record, and if someone looks like they’re blowing a lot of money without thinking about it, we can check on that. We would much rather have a player that spends less each time they’re with us but comes back overall.”
Meanwhile, other US states will now be watching New Jersey closely with the intention of following suit if internet gambling proves a success. Its even been estimated that up to 18 US states may legalize online betting within the next four years, depending on how New Jersey fares.