New Jersey Lawmakers Consider Extending iGaming Authorization
New Jersey lawmakers are currently deliberating whether to extend the state’s authorization of online casino gambling, which is set to expire on November 27, 2023. After several weeks of negotiations, reports suggest that a consensus has been reached among lawmakers.
Proposed Five-Year Extension of Online Casino Gambling
In 2013, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie signed the state’s iGaming act into law, allowing Atlantic City casinos to partner with iGaming companies to operate interactive slot machines and table games online. The initial authorization was granted for a period of ten years under Article 6C of the 1976 Casino Control Act.
However, to ensure the continued success of tourism and casino gaming in Atlantic City, state lawmakers began working on extending the iGaming authorization. Although the bills proposing a ten-year extension were put on hold last year, they have recently been reintroduced as Senate Bill 3075 and Assembly Bill 2190, which now propose a five-year extension.
The bills aim to amend Article 6C, stating that the authorization to conduct online casino games will expire 15 years after the initial operative date. Both bills have made progress, clearing multiple committees, and could soon proceed to full floor votes. As New Jersey’s legislative session runs until the end of the year, decisions are expected to be made within that timeframe.
Importance of iGaming for Atlantic City’s Casino Industry
While media outlets often highlight the monthly gaming revenue numbers showing substantial year-over-year increases, Atlantic City casinos have expressed frustrations. A significant portion of the revenue growth comes from online sources, benefiting the iGaming operators. Unlike retail patrons, online players do not generate additional revenue for the physical casinos through accommodations, dining, or entertainment.
Despite this discrepancy, the casino industry emphasizes that iGaming is crucial for Atlantic City’s overall health. Mark Giannantonio, president of Resorts and the Casino Association of New Jersey, stressed that failing to extend online casino privileges would have devastating consequences. He stated that reauthorising the Internet gaming bill is vital for the gaming industry’s continued success in New Jersey, as it supports various programs funded by tax revenues.
New Jersey imposes an effective tax rate of 17.5% on gross gaming revenue (GGR) generated from iGaming. In the previous year, the state received $249.1 million in taxes from iGaming activities. These figures highlight the significant financial impact of online gambling on the state’s revenue stream.
The ongoing discussions among New Jersey lawmakers regarding the extension of iGaming authorization demonstrate the recognition of its importance for Atlantic City’s casino industry. The proposed five-year extension aims to balance the interests of the state, casinos, and iGaming operators, ensuring the continued success and economic benefits derived from online gambling.