The state of New Jersey is one of the few in the United States that allows online gambling. The industry was legalised in 2013 and it has grown by leaps and bounds since then. There was a lot of opposition to the move when it was originally proposed, especially from the state’s ailing land based gambling business, but legislators were able to push the online gambling proposal though.
New Jersey’s land based gambling industry has been struggling to do well over the past decade or so. There are only seven casinos in operation right, down from twelve not too long ago. The state’s gambling hub, Atlantic City, has even been brought almost to the point of bankruptcy thanks to casino revenues shrinking to half of the 2006 levels. As a matter of fact, the city’s iconic gambling establishment, the Trump Taj Mahal shut down late last year because of declining revenues and other reasons. Needless to say, this has the potential to cause immense economic problems because the casino industry is one of the biggest employers in Atlantic City.
There were many concerns that the newly launched online gambling industry would push its ailing online counterpart over the edge by eating into its customer base. However, the biggest reason for the drop in business has been the opening of glitzy casinos just across the border in Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Delaware. These casinos are easily accessible from the Garden State, and there is regular traffic across the border of people going to play at these laces.
It hasn’t been entirely smooth sailing for the New Jersey online gambling industry either. Revenues have been far below expectations, perhaps because estimates were unrealistically high in the first place. In fact, some operators have even exited the market because they sensed that it was stagnating. However, the industry has started to pick up during 2016, thanks in no small part to the launch of PokerStars operations in the state early in the year. Lots continue to be very popular with online gamers, with people trying out immensely popular games like Secrets of the Phoenix Slots to see if they can win huge prizes.
According to a reliable study, New Jersey’s online gaming industry expanded by 32% in 2016 and will show a 17% growth in 2017. Even more interestingly, the study indicated that the online gambling business had actually helped its land-based counterpart instead of reducing its profits as is commonly assumed.
Land based casinos tend to be slightly intimidating places to absolute novices who might be afraid of appearing ignorant. As a result, many people who don’t even consider stepping into these places are quite happy to gamble online from the relaxed atmosphere of their homes. However, many of these people eventually visit land based casinos once they feel they have gained enough experience playing the games and will be able to hold their own in the presence of experienced gamblers.
New Jersey operators are also making good use of the fact that land-based and online gambling are integrated. They use their gambling sites to offer hotel discounts and restaurant promotional offers as a means to increase the visitors to their land based casinos. These promotional offers are actually working very well and both the types of casinos are now expecting to grow side by side.
Atlantic City seems to be off to a good start in 2017 as its January figures indicate. There was a 7.7% increase in combined gross gaming revenue in January alone. The state’s online gambling business which earned $18.8 million during January has clearly helped revitalize its land-based counterpart.