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 due to 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 basic principles of the bill:
– Casinos positioned in Atlantic City will be able to use for a license to offer online gambling. Only the twelve official Atlantic City casinos will undoubtedly be eligible for the license. No other organizations will offer internet gambling, and face stiff fines should they do. All facilities useful for the operation of internet gambling must be located within city limits; only bets that are received by way of a server in Atlantic City will undoubtedly be legal.
– Players must be “physically present” in New Jersey to place wagers. In the foreseeable 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 can be played online. (For comparison, Nevada only allows poker.) Currently, sports betting will not be protected by this bill, although the state of New Jersey is wanting to fight the federal statute barring the legalization of sports betting.
– The bill has all kinds of provisions to keep gambling addiction from increasing, such as requiring the prominent display of the 1-800-GAMBLER hotline number, ways to set maximum bets and losses over a specific time frame, and tracking player losses to spot 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 the state will undoubtedly be generated using this tax, however many analysts think this number is seriously overestimated.
The official regulations, that your bill required the Division of Gaming Enforcement to make, were released on June 3, and are susceptible to a “public comment period” until August 2 before being finalized. These rules include details such as what sort of casino acquires the right licenses and procedures for maintaining network security on gambling sites.
So, will online gambling actually benefit the state?
Revenues from Atlantic City casinos have now been on the decline for the past seven years, and online gambling could possibly be what saves the failing casinos. Since 2006, casino revenue has dropped from $5.2 billion to around $3 billion. Online gambling is actually a $500 เว็บตรง million to $1 billion industry in New Jersey, which can be enough to keep struggling casinos afloat and save jobs in Atlantic City. Further, although estimates of tax revenue are throughout the map, there’s 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, that will provide further help struggling casinos in Atlantic City.
For the gamer, 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 ease of gambling online allows players to play more with less travel.
One of many goals of the bill is supposedly to attract more people to visit the brick-and-mortar casinos, but it’s hard to state if online gambling will in truth lead to the outcome. One 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 suggests that, at the least with poker, internet gaming doesn’t reduce casino gaming.) Advertising for the host casino will undoubtedly 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 possibly be seriously devastating for people who have gambling addictions, as well as cause people to develop them, raising financial and moral concerns. Even with all the preventative steps the bill requires, it will surely be much harder to stop compulsive gamblers if they can place bets anywhere with an internet connection.
Regardless, it is going to be a while prior to the casinos can in fact start up their online gambling offerings. The regulations need to be finalized and casinos need to use for licensure and develop their gambling websites. What this means is the casinos will not be enjoying this new supply of revenue throughout the 2013 summer season, which could be Atlantic City’s toughest season ever following recovery from Hurricane Sandy.