The global financial crisis of 2008/9 had a devastating impact on the gambling industry. Several iconic establishments shuttered, allowing the few that remained to prosper and ultimately grow. The resurgence is evident in many ways. Atlantic City’s appeal is stronger than ever, and the inclusion of regulated online casino gaming has only heightened its appeal.
According to official statistics, New Jersey generated an incredible $245 million in online gambling revenues alone in 2017. Regulated gambling is clearly a big business, and nobody understands this better than the incumbent governor, Phil D. Murphy. Online gambling revenues enjoyed almost 25% growth in 2017, adding substantial revenues to New Jersey’s coffers. The NJ DGE released last year’s figures early in January 2018, and everyone was stunned by the $37 million + growth over 2016.
Another impressive statistic at the time was that New Jersey had recorded 10 successive months of $20 million + online casino revenue takings per month. For 2017 overall, the 24.9% increase was remarkable. Casino growth spiked 30.1% to $221.35 million, while online poker generated $24.25 million, down marginally for the year.
New Jersey has always been a central hub for bettors. Previously, a handful of states had a virtual monopoly on sports betting activity, notably Nevada. New Jersey was pushing hard to overturn the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992. After months of deliberations, blowback from opponents, and intense legal debate, the Supreme Court of the United States eventually made a ruling.
On May 14, 2018, SCOTUS ruled 6:3 in favor of New Jersey. The ruling effectively prevents the federal government from mandating what individual states can do vis-à-vis sports betting. It is now up to states themselves to determine whether they wish to regulate sports betting or not. While the Supreme Court decision was up in the air, New Jersey lawmakers wasted no time crafting comprehensive online sports betting legislation for Gov. Phil D. Murphy to sign.
It was a day of fireworks and celebrations for sports bettors in the Garden State. Gov. Phil D. Murphy wasted no time putting pen to paper and fast tracking the legislation. Today, sports betting is 100% legal in New Jersey, and that bodes well for online casino gambling across the United States.
Gambling aficionados contest that there is no difference between sports betting on professional and NCAA sports, and gambling at an online casino. The Supreme Court ruling is notable in that it sets a new standard. Barring congressional action on online gambling activity, the ball is now in the court of individual states. In other words, voters get to decide whether they wish to regulate online casino, online poker, online sports betting, and other gambling activities in their own states.
New Jersey has been a front-runner in this regard, and it also boasts the most sophisticated regulatory systems to promote safe and responsible online gambling conduct. Geolocation tracking technology, ID verification, and established online gaming providers are now operating in tandem with land-based casinos in Atlantic City to deliver entertainment par excellence and have helped the growth of legal online gambling in NJ.