Online gambling in NJ
The history of online gambling in New Jersey is a short and well-chronicled one. For decades, Atlantic City was the premier gambling destination on the East Coast, essentially serving as the Las Vegas of the east. But as the rest of the country loosened their attitude toward regulated land-based gambling, the fortunes of Atlantic City began to suffer under the weight of increased competition from states such as Pennsylvania, Ohio, Connecticut, New York, and Delaware.
The result was a long decline in local gambling revenue for New Jersey, a situation that was exacerbated by the continued addition of casinos in Atlantic City and the massive economic downturn of the mid-2000s.
Those conditions provided the recipe for online gambling to enter the conversation in New Jersey. With the hope that regulating online poker and online casino games might provide a competitive advantage for New Jersey’s casinos – while also providing a financial boost to the state – Governor Chris Christie and other NJ lawmakers worked together to pass a bill that legalized the offering of such games by licensed AC casinos in 2013.
The key issues surrounding NJ online gambling
Our coverage touches on a variety of topics having to do with online and land-based gambling in NJ. There are a few key issues that form the basis of the majority of our coverage, listed below in no particular order.
Financial performance of NJ online casinos
Our coverage includes detailed analysis of the regularly-released information regarding the financial performance of the online casinos and online poker sites operating legally in New Jersey. We go beyond the NJ online gambling numbers to provide depth and context – not just what the numbers are for NJ online gambling site revenue, but what those numbers mean for individual casinos and the broader regulated NJ Internet gambling market.
The interaction of online and land-based casinos
The only entities that can hold licenses to operate online gambling sites in NJ are the companies that are licensed to operate land-based casinos in Atlantic City. As a result, what happens in one industry usually has a direct effect on the trajectory of the other, meaning that keeping tabs on developments in Atlantic City is a critical part of staying up-to-date and informed about the online gambling industry in New Jersey.
The broader political climate for gambling in NJ
The decision to regulate online gambling is far from the last political decision regarding gambling in the Garden State. As mentioned above, the gambling industry in NJ is interconnected, so any news that is relevant to the land-based side matters to the online side as well – at least to some degree.
For example, the state of NJ is currently locked in a pitched debate regarding the concept of expanding casino gambling outside of Atlantic City. That development, should it come to pass, would hold significant implications for regulated online gambling; depending who won the new licenses to operate in other parts of NJ and how said licenses were handled, there could be an expansion of the number of online gambling sites. If an Atlantic City operator is harmed by the new competition from additional casinos, we could see the support for online gambling or poker by that operator shift as a result.
That’s just a quick example to make the central point – the gambling industry in NJ is effectively one industry, even though it’s easy to imagine a delineation between land-based and online gambling.
Product and promotional developments at NJ online gambling sites
The online gambling product in NJ is constantly evolving. New online poker sites open, online casinos add new game variants, and operators continue to roll out a steady stream of promotions and bonuses in an attempt to entice players to sign up or switch brands.
These are all touchstones for understanding the general health and trajectory of regulated online gambling in the Garden States. As a result, we devote a significant amount of our NJ regulated online gambling site coverage to stories focused on how the product – on both the online poker and online casino front – is evolving to meet the changing demands, tastes, and interest levels of NJ gamblers.
Safety and security concerns surrounding online gambling in NJ
Finally, we devote a significant amount of our NJ online gambling coverage to the critical topics of safety and security.
One of the core advantages of a regulated online gambling environment is that players can take comfort in knowing that a regulator is watching NJ’s online poker and casino games to ensure that everything is on the up-and-up. Regulators are also available to help mediate consumer issues or other complaints. Systems are in place to prevent unauthorized access by those who aren’t old enough to play or who aren’t located in the state. These and other topics are an important piece of the larger puzzle that is the story of NJ’s online gambling industry.