New Jersey Online Gambling Revenues Fail to Impress
The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement announced the profit numbers generated by the State’s freshly legalized online gambling and online poker industry over its first six weeks. According to the announcement, the total revenue was $8.4 million, of which 1.3 million went to the state as tax.
The report went into quite a number of specifics in regards to the online gambling earnings. Of the $8.4 million $7.4 million were generated during the month of December, which means that over its first 10 days, the industry generated a total of $1 million.
Furthermore, 62% of the $8.4 million (some $5.17 million) was contributed by the online casino sector, while the online poker industry accounted for 38% of the said revenues, totaling some $3.2 million. The PartyPoker-Borgata venture was by far the most successful in regards to online poker, responsible for around 45% of the above said online poker revenues.
While taken out of context the numbers do appear to be rather impressive, they are definitely not that considering the forecasts and the expectations of the various interests which pushed for legalization and those of the state itself. Gov. Chris Christie has indeed touted online gambling and poker as a means to save the ailing Atlantic City, and the state’s rapidly declining gambling industry. Indeed, down about 46% from its maximum, the revenues generated by Atlantic City's live gambling operations have reached their 1989 level.
The problem is however that according to various experts, the Garden State expects its online gambling and poker sectors to generate around $1.2 billion by the end of the first fiscal year following legalization. At the current pace, that number is indeed unrealistically high.
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According to the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement's David Rebuck though, the current numbers do not properly reflect the potential of the industry in the state. It would take the authorities at least a few more months to be able to gain a proper grasp on exactly where and how fast the revenues are going.
The banking sector was at least partly to blame for the relatively slow start of online gambling in New Jersey. Having found themselves between a rock and a hard place, many of the state's biggest financial institutions have refused to allow players to use their credit cards to fund their online poker and online casino accounts.
With online gambling and poker illegal pretty much everywhere else in the US, the banks are indeed faced with a difficult choice that they are only currently properly analyzing. At the end of the day, the risks of allowing a small segment of the population to conduct limited transactions which are illegal elsewhere in the nation have to be outweighed by the potential benefits for the banks. Then and only then are the financial institutions likely to flip the switch to finally contribute to the success of online gaming in the Garden State.