Online casino gambling has now been legalized for 10 years in the state of New Jersey. During this past decade, the legalization has generated an incredible $7 billion in revenue for the operating casinos and their affiliates. Don’t forget about the additional 1+ billion dollars in tax revenue.
Not only did the state get a new valuable revenue stream, the online business also helped make sure that the nine Atlantic City casinos stayed alive while shut down for 3.5 months during the pandemic.
Although online casinos are thriving in just 6 states, how come more states haven’t been able to figure it out? It’s a fair question that people all across America are asking.
Congratulations to Rhode Island
The states that are currently offering online casino gambling are the following: New Jersey, Connecticut, Delaware, Pennsylvania, Michigan and West Virginia. What about Nevada, some of you might ask? Well, Nevada actually only allows online poker but no other casino games.
We should also give a shoutout to Rhode Island for passing an online casino bil. However, you will have to wait until March this year before it goes into effect. Congratulations Rhode Island!
Why Isn’t Online Casino Gambling in More States?
There’s not going to be one clear answer to the question because as always in a situation like this, there are a lot of different factors involved. If you ask casino operators, online gambling companies, even analysts and elected officials, you will get a number of different reasons.
Some of those reasons are:
- Fear that online gambling will stop players from visiting physical casinos
- Approving Sports Betting has a higher priority
States Need to Look at New Revenue Streams
When asking other proponents about their thoughts on the issue, they share additional ways of thinking. Part of the reasons why they expect more states to legalize online casino gambling sooner rather than later is covid-related.
States received certain federal pandemic stimulus fundings, which are about to come to an end. This means that they need to start looking for any new sources of tax revenue. The most lucrative option is, surprise surprise, online gambling. If you’re looking for proof, look no further than the success story of New Jersey.
It’s still confusing to me how a lot of the lawmakers consider online casinos to be a much more high-stakes form of gambling that sports betting.
Close But No Cigar, Indiana
One of the states that is really trying to get things going is Indiana. There was a bill last year but unfortunately it was killed because of fear/concern about hurting the land based casinos across the state. Reports are saying that the Indiana lawmakers will give it another go in 2024.
Online Gambling Has Exceeded Most Expectations
Online gambling is great, we already know that, and ever since it was introduced in New Jersey back in 2013, it has exceeded most expectations.
David Rebuck is the Director of the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement and when asked about the subject, he left the following statement:
“The volume of wagering, the interest from people, the excitement surrounding it as an entertainment option shows the power and reach of the internet. We were able to do it in a responsible, professional way that avoided embarrassment and scandal.”
Why Not And Instead of Or?
Unfortunately today’s society is very much ‘it’s either this or that.’ I always ask why can’t it be both? Why can’t two things exist at the same time and people can do both? I’m convinced it would be a lot less hate if we could have ‘this AND that.’
One of the bigger concerns for governments is that if gambling becomes available online, it will have an immense effect on the already existing brick-and-mortar casinos. Lawmakers are worried that people would stop coming to these casinos.
This has been proven not to be the case, whatsoever.
Evidence Proving the Opposite
The Director of the Lloyd Levenson Institute at Stockton University is Jane Bokunewicz. Bokunewicz studies the Atlantic City gambling industry and noted that in most states allowing online gambling, land based casino gambling revenue has actually grown alongside that of online, although at a slower pace. Interesting, right?
As it turns out, the two instead complement each other. Casino revenue has now stabilized since the pandemic while the online action continues to set new records.
It’s time for the other states to listen to what the people want – to play online!