Darryl McEwen

{standaloneHead}Darryl McEwen{/standaloneHead}

Nov. 21 marked the fourth anniversary of online gaming in New Jersey. The state currently has 23 authorized Internet gaming websites.

New Jersey’s legal online casinos generated $20.6 million in gross revenue last month, the eighth straight month with revenue greater than $20 million. Since New Jersey authorized online gaming, annual revenues have steadily increased.

In 2016, the Internet gaming win was $196.7 million, and helped propel Atlantic City to its first year-over-year increase in gaming revenue in almost a decade. Internet gaming revenue is projected to increase further to more than $250 million by the end of next month.

Taxed at 15 percent compared to land-based gaming at 8 percent, Internet gaming has been as lucrative for New Jersey as for the casinos. Despite early concerns it would cannibalize land-based casinos, Internet gaming is becoming a greater share of Atlantic City’s casinos’ total gaming revenue, increasing from about 4.5 percent in 2014 to more than 7.5 percent in 2016. In 2016 Internet gaming represented 5 percent of the casinos’ total revenue.

Internet gaming has experienced double-digit percentage revenue increases year-over-year for 2015 (21 percent), 2016 (32 percent) and 2017 (26.6 percent to date as of July 31). Table gaming win increased by 7.21 percent in 2016 compared to a decline of 8.63 percent in 2015,

As a matter of fact, Golden Nugget Atlantic City has tripled the space allocated to its live online dealers — the only casino to offer this option. They also added three male dealers to the formerly all-female staff, bringing the total to 21.

Golden Nugget and Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa operate two of the most successful online casinos and were also the main sources of jackpots so far this year.

Expanding online poker

Last month New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval and Delaware Governor John Carney signed an agreement to allow gamblers to play online against players in all three states.

Players in Nevada and Delaware have been able to play online poker against each other since 2015. Nevada only offers online poker and, according to the governor’s office, there currently are no plans for other games.

Regulators in each of the three states still have to approve an operator interested in offering games to players in each state and approve the game software that will be used.

New Jersey’s entry into this multi-state agreement should increase jackpots and opportunities for play, while also providing an incentive for operators to expand Internet gaming offerings by locating their gaming servers in New Jersey.

Recreational gambler Darryl D. McEwen, a former professional journalist, is president of his own consulting firm that manages several small national and international trade associations, and provides public relations and fundraising services for a number of charitable organizations. Have a comment on this or a question specifically related to an Atlantic City casino, players club or other promotion? Email Darryl at MrACCasino@gmail.com and he’ll try to respond to you personally. Your question — without your name — may appear in a future column.

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