Internet gaming in NJ set to expire in November
Online gambling is not a permanent perk in the Garden State.
The New Jersey law approved in 2013 legalized internet gaming for a period of 10 years, and time runs out in November.
While it looks like there won't be much debate over whether or not New Jersey will let the revenue keep rolling in beyond 2023, it appears to be uncertain how much of a leash lawmakers are willing to give the thriving outlet for gamblers.
On June 22, the Assembly Appropriations Committee unanimously approved a measure that extends internet gaming authorization for another 10 years. The Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee also unanimously approved the proposal, eight days prior.
But on Tuesday, the legislation was amended before the Assembly Budget Committee, to allow the extension to last until only 2025.
Christina Renna, president and CEO of Chamber of Commerce Southern New Jersey, said the amendment came without warning and explanation — the group went on record Tuesday expressing its support for the bill, not knowing it would be changed.
"It is undeniable that online betting has been a boon for New Jersey, as well as the state’s casinos. In order for this level of success and revenue growth to continue the industry needs stability, which is an impossibility if the state has the ability to withdraw its operating authorization on a two-year basis," Renna said. "What company will want to make, or continue to make, long-term investments in sports betting if every two years the industry is at risk of losing its operating capability?"
Taxes from internet gaming have produced hundreds of millions of dollars' worth of yearly revenue for the state in recent years. Internet winnings reported by casinos and their partners in May 2023 totaled more than $161 million, a 19% jump from May 2022.
According to Chebra, there are more than 30 online gaming websites affiliated with the nine casinos in Atlantic City.
Just a handful of states permit online casinos, including New Jersey neighbors Pennsylvania and Delaware.
According to Roger Gros, publisher of Global Gaming Business Magazine, New Jersey is "sure to pass an extension" because of the huge tax haul that online casinos provide.
New Jersey has the "best model for online gaming in the country," according to Gros. But he fears that politicians in the state will eventually try to grab more tax revenue from the system.
"Other states have failed to emulate New Jersey at their own peril," Gros said. "It's one thing New Jersey has gotten right when it comes to the gaming industry."