Atlantic City in New Jersey is known throughout the world as a location where gambling is enjoyed throughout its surroundings. The city is home to a wealth of casinos and opportunities for betting on games and sport.
Gambling in New Jersey
New Jersey’s gambling laws first came into focus in 1974 when a referendum proposing casino gambling was turned down by a majority of voters.
A revised version in 1976 was approved, leading to Atlantic City’s first casino opening up for business in May 1978.
In 2013, online casino play was approved, bringing in a new era for gambling within the state.
In 2018, New Jersey legalized online sports betting. This decision opened up a new avenue for gambling, with a valuable boost given to Atlantic City’s racetracks and sports hubs.
Record-breaking profits have been recorded since the advent of sports betting, with revenue and taxes growing each year.
More recently online gambling has stepped up to the plate to help an industry beleaguered by the challenges faced by the Coronavirus pandemic.
Online sports betting became even more important when New Jersey ordered all land-based casinos closed. The outlook for casinos did not look promising. But the new ruling helped to provide a new input of gains and profits from online gambling.
Online betting on sports and games has helped to offset the loss of earnings experienced by the casinos during the pandemic.
Some feel that even before the current health crisis there were signs that Atlantic City’s nine casinos faced problems, with profit revenues stalling.
Importance of Online Betting
Fans keen to experience a new way of enjoying sports have gratefully turned to online betting. With many team sports around the world playing to restricted access stadiums with limited crowd numbers, following a game with an online bet has soared in appeal.
The month of January 2020 – just before the pandemic took hold – saw New Jersey wager $540.1, a record for online sports betting in the state.
The growth of online gambling in New Jersey has continued alongside e-sports. When all nine land-based casinos were ordered to shut down for at least four months last year, online gambling and sports wagers were allowed to continue.
Jane Bokunewicz, coordinator of the Lloyd D. Levenson Institute of Gaming, Hospitality & Tourism at Stockton University has been quoted as saying that online gaming has been vital in supporting the casinos.
The taxes gained from online gaming revenue has helped offset loses to the tax revenues of brick and mortar casinos.
Revenue taxes generated from online sports wagering increased by over $3.6 million from October.
The Role of Land-based Casinos
An uncertain future awaits land-based casinos with the current crisis far from being over.
Land based casinos are well known for their entertainment aspect, with the establishments benefitting from players spending on nongaming amenities. For example, Atlantic City will attract thousands of tourists each year to visit casinos and whilst there players are likely to spend money on food and beverages and hotel accommodation. The numerous casinos in the city also help boost job opportunities.
Atlantic City’s reputation as a gambling hub does not look to be in trouble. The industry believes it is in a strong position to ride out the crisis and look forward to the future.
Casinos Profiting from internet Gaming’s New Prominence
One prominent New Jersey online betting site, Play NJ, believed casinos can make good on online betting’s new importance.
During the second quarter of 2020, New Jersey casinos brought in $276.1 million in revenue mostly from online casino play. Most pro-sports were cancelled over that period.
While this is far less than the $826 million casinos collected in the same span a year previous, casinos in states without online gaming provision generated no sums at all.
Online gambling has helped to offset some of the losses experienced during the pandemic. E-sports and online sports wagers have increased their shares of profits since being made legal in New Jersey.
The overall future looks to be one where both sides of leisure gambling can co-exist in the state. Bricks and mortar casinos offer a different experience to online gambling, with retail and hospitality adding to the overall picture.
Online gambling has been a huge success in the last few years. It has also had to do a lot of the heavy-lifting in the industry over recent months.
Its importance looks set to continue, with both traditional casino gambling and online gambling offering players greater choice and versatility.