New Jersey Nowhere Near Online Gambling Revenue Expectations
The fiorst couple of months have been rocky for the new online casinos in New Jersey. While the projections have the state gaining over $12 million in tax revenue in the first seven months of regulated online gambling, that figure is far below the expectations of Governor Chris Christie.
When the governor was touting the economic impact that online casinos would have on New Jersey, he included a figure of $180 million that he wrote into the current budget. With the revenue nowhere near that number, Christie is starting to get heat for his projections.
"It wasn't that Christie had the wrong tax revenue projection figures," said Analyst Thomas Marks. "It is that his figures were too soon. It is going to take a few years before all the New Jersey gamblers convert to online casinos. So those numbers will probably be right in the long run, just not in 2014."
New Jersey is one of three states that have regulated online gambling. Nevada and Delaware have online casinos that are operational, with Nevada outperforming New Jersey to date. It was expected that Nevada would become the largest online gambling state in the US for the past decade.
Delaware and New Jersey have also entered into an agreement to allow gamblers from each state to play at online casinos based in Nevada of Delaware. New Jersey has not yet joined the network, but all indications are that Christie and lawmakers would like to eventually be included in a country-wide network.
One of the biggest challenges that online gambling faces in the immediate future is the push back that it is receiving from one of the most successful land-based casino owners. Las Vegas Sands CEO Sheldon Adelson has thrown hundreds of millions of dollars into lobbying efforts to make online casinos illegal on a federal level.
A bill has been introduced in recent weeks that would make Internet gambling at online casinos and poker rooms illegal. Several other bills working their way through Congress would regulate online gambling nationally in the US.