When it comes to the right to gamble, there will be some states in the United States that are deeply jealous of New Jersey. The laws of the state of New Jersey smile friendlier when gambling and allow people a little more freedom than in some other states. The resort town of Atlantic City, with all of its casinos, has helped secure New Jersey as a state that is tolerant of people who enjoy a flutter.
Impact of Gambling on the New Jersey Economy
Online gaming is a huge contributor to the New Jersey economy … so much that it’s a surprise other states haven’t opened up to it. Here are just a few statistics cited online sources:
- Between 2013 and 2018, online games generated $ 259.3 million in tax revenue for state and local governments.
- The industry created 6,552 jobs between 2013 and 2018.
- Between 2013 and 2019, the industry had sales of $ 2 billion.
According to Bloomberg, the state’s nine land-based casinos generated $ 1.5 billion in gambling revenues in 2020.
Not only that, but also in tough economic times, online gambling has provided a remedy and acts as a safety net when land-based casinos slacken. Taxes on online gambling are higher at 15% of sales, while they are 8% on stationary casino gambling.
Online gambling in New Jersey
New Jersey has revised some of the tough laws surrounding online gaming. The state seems to be getting warmer and warmer, whereas previously, even if a site operator was based outside of New Jersey, any New Jersey resident would have broken state law by playing the site.
The official New Jersey state website has a list of legally operating online casinos that citizens can play at. These websites can legally operate 24 hours a day. Anyone not on the list won’t be approved, and the state can’t protect the people who use them.
The list is not final, however, and other budding online casino operators can apply for a license.
With online games now legal, the OLBG betting community platform has put together this page for New Jersey residents to play slots on.
Not that it wasn’t already, but New Jersey really put itself on the map when it comes to gambling when it challenged US gambling laws and won.
In May 2018, the Supreme Court ruled that states can decide for themselves whether they want to legalize sports betting. The Law to Protect Professional and Amateur Sports had prohibited states from allowing gamblers to bet on sports games. Nevada was the only state where it was legal.
New Jersey fought against this, and has done so for several years on the grounds that the law was unconstitutional. Back in 2011, the state had been working to make sports betting a legal activity in the state, but elite sport had filed a lawsuit against New Jersey and legalization was blocked.
Eventually, the New Jersey Supreme Court agreed, much to the horror of the NBA, NHL, and Major League Baseball, who feared allowing sports betting would compromise the integrity of the game. Governor Phil Murphy wasted no time signing laws to make them legal in the state, and he even tweeted that he thought legalizing sports betting was the right move for the state and would boost its economy.
Now, New Jersey residents enjoy a great deal of freedom to wager on games and can place bets on racetracks, casinos, and other venues when facilities so offer. The only rule seems to be that players cannot bet on college games or events that involve New Jersey teams or high school games. Of course, if you are a player, referee, coach, employee, or otherwise engaged in professional sports, you are not allowed to bet on sports either.
The barrier to entry for operators is also low, which gives consumers more choice, but perhaps the state will always lag behind the offshore markets in terms of what they offer. However, over time, they could soon catch.
The future of gambling
The Supreme Court decision was massive, and the New Jersey state authorities weren’t the only ones working to get the most out of the verdict. Quite a number of states have worked to create and implement laws to make sports betting a legal activity in their state.
As of November 2020, only Idaho, Wisconsin, and Utah hadn’t announced any bills legalizing sports betting. That’s not to say the former two won’t. Utah looks highly unlikely, however. The state has a firm anti-gambling stance and has written it into the state constitution. Legalizing sports betting would be a huge departure from their position. Even lottery tickets are no-no.
It also looks like the sports betting market in New Jersey is only going to get stronger. Even in turbulent times, the market has proven its efficiency and grew towards the end of 2020. The NFL was one of the biggest, if not the biggest, draws.
New Jersey has always been a little more liberal about gambling than many other states, but has taken another step forward and started to embrace online gaming. The future of the state’s online gaming industry looks bright.