New Jersey, and Atlantic City, in particular, is home to a large and successful casino industry. Years ago, lawmakers presented plans to allow more gambling venues to open in the state. Recently, state officials have begun looking at several New Jersey casino bills once again.
Some feel that adding new casinos will help to bring the state significantly more revenue. Others worry about the impact it will have on Atlantic City. Let’s take a look at what exactly may be changing here.
Coronavirus Has Officially Hit New Jersey
There are many different gambling venues in New Jersey. Most consider this state the second-largest gambling hub in the country. Today, news broke that two cases of the coronavirus have been confirmed here.
It’s unclear exactly how many people in the US have already been infected with this virus. Estimates list it at around 200. Most feel the true number is significantly higher.
New York has already recorded several cases of the coronavirus. New Jersey now has several of its own. The second was confirmed to be a patient in his 30s. It’s unclear whether or not he managed to spread the virus to others.
Some worry about this virus hitting Atlantic City. Here, thousands of people are crammed inside massive casinos. These gambling venues are ideal places for the virus to spread from person to person.
This virus has the potential to significantly damage a state’s casino industry. Several major Las Vegas casino companies are already seeing their stock prices fall after reports of a coronavirus infection in Clark County. We’ll be monitoring the situation in New Jersey and reporting on how quickly it spreads.
Lawmakers Take Another Look at New Jersey Casino Bills
Back in 2016, several New Jersey politicians presented a bill that would allow for new gambling venues to be constructed outside of Atlantic City. The plan was to allow casinos in the suburbs near the border with New York. Some felt it would help to draw in most tourists.
Interestingly, lawmakers unanimously voted to reject these plans. Many felt this would take away from the revenue that Atlantic City earns. AC relies heavily on its gambling industry for money.
In January, another set of New Jersey casino bills was introduced that once again calls for the legalization of casinos outside of Atlantic City. Lawmakers are looking at this bill and feel it may be a way to prepare in case Atlantic City suffers some type of breakdown.
Ralph Caputo, a former casino executive in New Jersey, spoke about the bills to the media this week.
“We want to see Atlantic City succeed,” he said. “These bills are in case Atlantic City gets into trouble. The signal it sends is that we’re watching carefully to see if we need to act on this. But not at this time; I want to make that clear.”
The Casino Association of New Jersey still opposes these plans. It remains to be seen whether or not the plans will be approved.
Esports Betting Starts to Take Off in New Jersey
The popularity of Esports betting has taken off in recent years. This is especially true with younger people who enjoy watching video game streams through platforms like Twitch. Recently, lawmakers in New Jersey presented plans to start regulating Esports gambling.
This has been a long time coming. Many have asked state officials to present bills to allow Esports wagering, arguing that the revenue it earns the state would be massive. Now, this form of sports betting will be allowed during tournaments not involving minors.
The aforementioned Ralph Caputo commented on this decision, as well.
“This is the next big thing in gaming,” he said. “We want to be ahead of the curve on this. The millennial generation is into this in a major way.”
Esports betting is expected to be a massive success here. Soon, sportsbooks across the state will start offering odds on this new industry. We’ll get revenue reports on this industry soon.
The New Jersey casino bills are still being discussed by lawmakers. We’ll get a better idea as to how the state views these plans over the next few months.
It’s an interesting time in the state’s gambling industry. Stay tuned for updates over the next few months!