NJ gambling missing its mark

US NJ gambling
Publish: April 16, 2014

After a slow start, revenue from online casinos in New Jersey is beginning to pick up, although it remains far below the industry’s and the state’s initial expectations.

Online gambling was legalised in New Jersey on 21 November 2013, amidst extremely buoyant predictions as to the revenue it would produce. However, these optimistic forecasts have had to be revised downwards quite substantially, although New jersey officials and gambling industry leaders n

Only USD$27 million was generated by the industry from the launch date until the end of February 2014. When the plan to legalise online casinos was first mooted, it was estimated that tax revenue for the state of New Jersey in the first year of operation would be in the region of USD$180 million. This figure was revised down to USD$160 million, and then finally down to USDS$34 million, a drop of almost $150 million.evertheless say that tax income has begun to trend upwards and will continue so to do.

However, analysts say that there has been a month-on-month increase in the number of players playing online, with overall participation having grown by 20% since November 2013, with a markedly sharp increase of 40% between December and February 2014.

Industry observers have suggested several reasons as to why revenue has not thus far met expectations.

The first of these has been a number of technical problems that have plagued the launch. Players are required to verify that they are over 18 years of age and within New Jersey’s borders, yet this verification system has had multiple failures, with playing sessions frequently being terminated when players receive a message that they are not playing from within the state when in actual fact they are.

Payment processing has also been a significant hindrance, as many US credit card companies and banks are prohibited from processing online casino transactions. It is also reported that in some instances players have had to resort to making cash deposits in person at a casino in order to get funds into their online accounts. In response, a number of online casino operators are now selling pre-paid cards so that players can fund their accounts.

Similarly, according to some analysts, the worse than expected performance has been a result of the fact that simply not enough know that legal online gambling is now an option, with initial advertising campaigns being criticised as “amateurish and insufficient.” In order to address this, New Jersey online casino operators have aggressively increased their advertising across all media, in the hope that this will make more people aware that online gaming is now something that it is now entirely legal to enjoy.

Last Updated May 20, 2015