New Jersey Lawmakers Must Renew iGaming Bill Before November

Aerial panorama of the Atlantic City, NJ coastline after sunset

NJ iGaming on November Deadline for Renewal

Anyone who knows anything about the online gambling industry in the United States knows that New Jersey has a dominating market. The state is home to online poker, casino games, and sports betting, with players betting millions monthly to enjoy this entertainment. New Jersey relies on the money that its online gaming industry can provide, especially when the land-based casinos do not fare as well, month to month.

The state legalized iGaming in 2013 with a bill that only allowed the industry to function for ten years. Now that the ten-year mark is almost up, lawmakers are scrambling to ensure the market remains intact with new legislation. Lawmakers have only a short time to renew the measure to ensure that gambling can continue online for another ten years.

Bipartisan Bill Moving Through Legislature

A bipartisan bill is moving through Legislature to ensure that the industry can remain in good legal standing. The state coffers rely on the earnings from the online sector, with millions generated monthly. Bill S3075 was introduced in 2022, and as the ten-year deadline approaches, the measure is steadily gaining ground.

A state Assembly committee approved the measure last week, and a Senate budget committee reviewed and passed it this week. It could be on the governor’s desk by the end of the month if all goes according to plan.

The new legislation would not permanently legalize the industry but would set another ten-year time frame. Advocates want online gambling to continue in the state so that land-based casinos can continue to thrive, and additional revenues will be generated.

In 2020, the industry saw how important online gaming sites were when the COVID-19 pandemic began. Casinos across the US shut down, and the only revenues coming in for the industry were in states where iGaming was legalized. Atlantic City casinos could stay afloat during the trying economic times thanks to the online services.

Online gaming sites are seen as an extension of land-based venues and a cushion for revenues when times get tough.

Much-Needed Revenues

In states like New Jersey, where online casino gaming is allowed, it creates a secondary income stream for land-based providers. In the Garden State, the industry is booming, with over $250 million in tax payments made annually to the Casino Revenue Fund.

Almost every month, record is set by online casino sites, poker rooms, or sportsbooks. Players prefer mobile gaming due to convenience, as they are not tied to one location. New Jersey has one of the largest markets in the nation, offering 31 websites connected to the nine casinos in Atlantic City.

Operators like Borgata, DraftKings, Golden Nugget, Hard Rock, and Ocean Casino are NJ’s top online casino services providers. Monthly gains are high in 2023, and it is expected that by the new fiscal year, the collections will reach well over $287 million.

In April, the online casinos in NJ earned over $158 million, pushing the state past the $6 billion mark in total revenues. Over $1 billion in taxes have been paid since the industry began in 2013.

Improving Gambling Treatment and Education Programs  

Additional legislation is under consideration in the Senate that would benefit underage gamblers. Officials want to come up with the best way possible to help those who are under 21 that illegally gamble in Atlantic City casinos.

S-1599 would allow the court to require gambling treatment and education for underage gamblers. In Atlantic City, an underage individual caught in the casino is charged with disorderly persons and must pay a fine from $500 to $1,000.

With the new measure, the court can decide if the fine is enough or if treatment should also be initiated. As gambling becomes more prevalent in the state, it could tempt underage individuals to break the law. With treatment and education, young people can learn why the age limit is in place and how to make better choices.

Senator James Beach introduced the measure to help young people by providing an option to deter illegal behavior. The subject of online gambling has come up in discussions connected to the bill, with some lawmakers fearing that iGaming is a bigger threat to young people. We may see additional changes to the measure in the future to include an online element.

Posted in: iGaming Regulatory & Industry