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 because of 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 apply for a license to supply online gambling. Only the twelve official Atlantic City casinos is likely to be entitled to the license. No other organizations will offer internet gambling, and face stiff fines if they do. All facilities used for the operation of internet gambling must certanly be located within city limits; only bets that are received by a server in Atlantic City is likely to be legal.
– Players must certanly be “physically present” in New Jersey to put wagers. As time goes on, 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 open to play in the casinos may be played online. (For comparison, Nevada only allows poker.) As of now, sports betting will not be protected by this bill, although the state of New Jersey is trying to fight the federal statute barring the legalization of sports betting.
– The bill has all kinds of provisions to help keep gambling addiction from increasing, such as for instance requiring the prominent display of the 1-800-GAMBLER hotline number, a method to set maximum bets and losses over a particular period of time, 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 is likely to be generated from this tax, but some analysts think this number is seriously overestimated.
The state regulations, which the bill required the Division of Gaming Enforcement to produce, were released on June 3, and are subject to a “public comment period” until August 2 before being finalized. These rules include details such as for instance 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 days gone by 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 might be a $500 million to $1 billion industry in New Jersey, which can be enough to help keep struggling casinos afloat and save jobs in Atlantic City. Further, although estimates of tax revenue are all over the map, there is potential for online gambling to become a considerably valuable source of money for the state. The casinos will also need to pay a tax to the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority, that will provide further assistance to struggling casinos in Atlantic City.
For the ball player, 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 capability of gambling online allows players to play more with less travel.
Among the goals of the bill is supposedly to attract more people to see the brick-and-mortar casinos, but it’s hard to state if online gambling will in truth lead to this outcome. One could speculate it may even cause people to เว็บตรง 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 least with poker, internet gaming doesn’t reduce casino gaming.) Advertising for the host casino is likely to be allowed on the web gambling sites, which could possibly encourage people to see the casino but could also be annoying for players.
Online gambling could possibly be seriously devastating for folks who have gambling addictions, as well as cause people to develop them, raising financial and moral concerns. Even with the preventative steps the bill requires, it will definitely be much harder to stop compulsive gamblers if they can place bets anywhere with an internet connection.
Regardless, it is going to be considered a while before the casinos can actually kick off their online gambling offerings. The regulations have to be finalized and casinos need to apply for licensure and develop their gambling websites. This implies the casinos will not be enjoying this new source of revenue throughout the 2013 summer season, which could be Atlantic City’s toughest season ever following recovery from Hurricane Sandy.