Initially the bill was vetoed by the Governor as a result of issues surrounding transparency and taxes. Lawmakers adjusted the text and the amended bill passed by an overwhelming majority in the legislature and earned Christie’s seal of approval.
Listed below are the basics of the bill:
– Casinos positioned in Atlantic City will have a way to use for a license to supply online gambling. Only the twelve official Atlantic City casinos will soon be eligible for the license. No other organizations can provide internet gambling, and face stiff fines when they do. All facilities used for the operation of internet gambling should be located within city limits; only bets which are received by a server in Atlantic City will soon be legal.
– Players should be “physically present” in New Jersey to put wagers. In the future, 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 offered to play in the casinos can be played online. (For comparison, Nevada only allows poker.) As of this moment, sports betting will not be protected by this bill, yakin 777 although the state of New Jersey is attempting to fight the federal statute barring the legalization of sports betting.
– The bill has all sorts 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 way to set maximum bets and losses over a certain period of time, and tracking player losses to identify 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 will soon be generated using this tax, but some analysts think this number is seriously overestimated.
The state regulations, that the bill required the Division of Gaming Enforcement to create, 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 how a casino acquires the appropriate licenses and procedures for maintaining network security on gambling sites.
So, will online gambling actually benefit the state?
Revenues from Atlantic City casinos have already been on the decline for yesteryear seven years, and online gambling could be what saves the failing casinos. Since 2006, casino revenue has dropped from $5.2 billion to around $3 billion. Online gambling is actually 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’s prospect of online gambling to be always a considerably valuable source of money for the state. The casinos will also have to pay a tax to the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority, that’ll provide further assistance to struggling casinos in Atlantic City.
For the player, low overhead costs mean better prizes and more opportunities to play. Casinos can incent players with free “chips” that have minimal costs for them but give players more opportunities to play and win. The ease of gambling online allows players to play more with less travel.
One of the goals of the bill is supposedly to attract more people to go to the brick-and-mortar casinos, but it’s hard to express if online gambling will actually lead to the outcome. You could speculate it may even cause people to visit the casinos less (However, this seems unlikely; the social element and the free drinks are lost in online gambling. Also, research indicates that, at the very least with poker, internet gaming doesn’t reduce casino gaming.) Advertising for the host casino will soon be allowed on the internet gambling sites, which might encourage people to go to the casino but may be annoying for players.
Online gambling could be seriously devastating for people who have gambling addictions, or even cause people to produce them, raising financial and moral concerns. Even with all the preventative steps the bill requires, it will certainly be much harder to cut off compulsive gamblers if they can place bets anywhere with a net connection.
Regardless, it will be described as a while prior to the casinos can actually start up their online gambling offerings. The regulations have to be finalized and casinos need to use for licensure and develop their gambling websites. This means the casinos will not be enjoying this new source of revenue during the 2013 summer season, which could be Atlantic City’s toughest season ever following recovery from Hurricane Sandy.