For better or for worse, online gambling is coming to New Jersey.
In late February, Chris Christie officially signed into law a bill that legalized internet gambling in Atlantic City.
Initially the bill was vetoed by the Governor because of issues surrounding transparency and taxes. Lawmakers adjusted the writing and the amended bill passed by an overwhelming majority in the legislature and earned Christie’s seal of approval.
Here are the fundamentals of the bill:
– Casinos situated in Atlantic City will be able to apply for a license to supply online gambling. Only the twelve official Atlantic City casinos will be entitled to the license. No other organizations can offer internet gambling, and face stiff fines when they do. All facilities employed for the operation of internet gambling should be located within city limits; only bets that are received by way of a server in Atlantic City will be legal.
– Players should be “physically present” in New Jersey to place wagers. In the future, New Jersey may develop agreements with other states where internet gambling is legal to permit out-of-state gambling. The casino’s equipment must verify players’ locations before accepting wagers.
– Any games available to play in the casinos could be played online. (For comparison, Nevada only allows poker.) Currently, sports betting won’t be protected by this bill, although their state of New Jersey is trying to fight the federal statute barring the legalization of sports betting.
– The bill has all kinds of provisions to keep gambling addiction away, such as for instance requiring the prominent display of the 1-800-GAMBLER เว็บตรง hotline number, a method to set maximum bets and losses over a certain period of time, and tracking player losses to identify and limit users who may demonstrate addictive gambling behavior.
– Revenue from online gambling will carry a 15% tax. The Christie administration states that about $180 million in revenue for their state will be generated out of this tax, however, many analysts think this number is seriously overestimated.
The state regulations, which the bill required the Division of Gaming Enforcement to produce, were released on June 3, and are at the mercy of a “public comment period” until August 2 before being finalized. These rules include details such as for instance how a casino acquires the appropriate licenses and procedures for maintaining network security on gambling sites.
So, will online gambling actually benefit their state?
Revenues from Atlantic City casinos have been on the decline for days gone by seven years, and online gambling could be what saves the failing casinos. Since 2006, casino revenue has dropped from $5.2 billion to around $3 billion. Online gambling might be a $500 million to $1 billion industry in New Jersey, which might be enough to keep struggling casinos afloat and save jobs in Atlantic City. Further, although estimates of tax revenue are all over the map, there is prospect of online gambling to be a considerably valuable supply of money for the state. The casinos will also have to pay a tax to the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority, which will provide further help struggling casinos in Atlantic City.
For the player, low overhead costs mean better prizes and more opportunities to play. Casinos can incent players with free “chips” which have minimal costs for them but give players more opportunities to play and win. The capability of gambling online allows players to play more with less travel.
One of the goals of the bill is supposedly to attract more individuals to visit the brick-and-mortar casinos, but it is hard to say if online gambling will in actuality lead to this outcome. You could speculate it could even cause people to go to the casinos less (However, this seems unlikely; the social element and the free drinks are lost in online gambling. Also, research shows that, at the very least with poker, internet gaming doesn’t reduce casino gaming.) Advertising for the host casino will be allowed on the online gambling sites, which might encourage people to visit the casino but could also be annoying for players.
Online gambling could be seriously devastating for folks who have gambling addictions, or even cause people to produce them, raising financial and moral concerns. Even with all the preventative steps the bill requires, it will definitely be much harder to take off compulsive gamblers if they could place bets anywhere with a net connection.
Regardless, it is going to be a while prior to the casinos can actually kick off their online gambling offerings. The regulations have to be finalized and casinos need to apply for licensure and develop their gambling websites. What this means is the casinos won’t be enjoying this new supply of revenue throughout the 2013 summer season, which may be Atlantic City’s toughest season ever following recovery from Hurricane Sandy.