New Jersey is one of the few states in the USA that has expanded its gambling industry. It now includes various forms of online gambling activities.
The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement regulates the states iGaming Division. Any online casino looking to legally offer their services in the state need to obtain a license from the division.
Anyone can apply for a license but only those who meet the suitability requirements get approval. The application fee is $100,000 and once the application is accepted the fee amount can go towards the $400,000 licensing fee.
Anyone who obtains a license in this state is responsible for the cost associated with their license which includes investigative costs. At the current time, only physical casinos located and licensed in New Jersey can provide online casino games. iGaming software providers or operators can partner with land-based casinos.
The Casino Control Commission along with the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) oversees all online gambling in the state.
The DGE has several responsibilities which include vetting license applicants, assuring the honesty, character and integrity of casino owners, employees and vendors, making sure games are fair and monitoring the exclusion lists for violations. They are also responsible for information systems integrity.
A win for online casinos
The COVID-19 pandemic has ensured that many Atlantic City casinos shut their doors during the lockdown period. While this has resulted in a major loss for land-based casinos, online casinos have seen a considerable rise in the number of players.
In May, online casinos raked in nearly $86 million due to the closure of land-based casinos. The DGE statistics showed that online operators reported gross gaming revenue of $85.9 million.
This figure is a 124% surge when compared to May 2019. Online slots and table games brought in the most players and revenue. For sportsbooks, May 2020 was a bit of a let-down with revenue dropping 36.2% from what it was in 2019.
Overall, the gambling industry suffered a 65.4% loss with online casinos and sports betting revenue totaling $95.8 million. The year is halfway done and the New Jersey gaming industry has only raked in $929.7 million in revenue. Which is a $377.2 million drop from the revenue intake for the first few months of 2019.
The future is virtual
Land-based casinos are struggling to open their doors and while many around the US have started opening gradually as things are a long way from returning to normal. While some land-based casinos have opened their doors there are many limits on the games and activities available.
The main priority according to New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy is to keep moving forward slowly and responsibly. Rushing into reopenings could be disastrous and dangerous to both casino workers and visitors.
For now, online casinos and mobile sports betting sites are the lifelines of the gaming industry. The Golden Nugget online operations are taking the lead with an impressive $29 million revenue intake for May 2020. Resorts came in second with $17.7 million and Borgata nestled itself into third place with a solid $16.6 million in revenue.
These online casinos offer the best in-game variety from top software providers including the latest online slots, table games and video poker variants. As there is no certainty on the reopening date of land-based casinos the only option for players is to take part in online casino gambling.