Recent numbers reveal that the state of New Jersey is severely underachieving as far as online gambling tax revenue is concerned. The state has fallen far short of the initial projections that were made when the state first regulated online gambling. The new projections have the state gaining approximately $12 million in tax revenue in the first seven months of regulated online gambling in the state; however, this new figure is significantly lower than the $180 million dollars that was initially written into the state budget based on expert projections.
It was not long ago that Governor Chris Christie was touting the major economic impact that regulating online gambling would have on the state. As can be imagined, the governor is beginning to get some serious heat because of the faulty projections.
According to some leading analyst, the governor’s numbers may not have been off; however, they may have been premature. Basically, the numbers were accurate, but the timeline was off. Experts are anticipating that it may take as long as several years for New Jersey gamblers to completely embrace the online concept and convert to online gambling before the numbers begin to align with the original projections; nevertheless, many are looking at the immediate impact of the shortfall and demanding answers.
Far Reaching Ramifications
As the federal government seriously considers regulating online gambling on a national level, the challenges that New Jersey is facing has some very powerful and influential people paying attention. There are some who believe the power and momentum of online gambling has been over estimated; however, that postulation is completely unsupported. There has to be enough time for conventional gamblers in regulated areas to assimilate to the new system.
The convenience and flexibility of online gambling ensure that it will continue to grow exponentially over the next several years or more.
New Jersey in one of three states, including Delaware and Nevada, that regulated online casino gambling, and now all three states have online casinos that are operational. At current, Nevada is outperforming New Jersey. For more than a decade, experts have been projecting that Nevada would be the largest online gambling state in the nation.
To help stimulate growth, both Nevada and Delaware have entered into a specific agreement that is designed to allow online gamblers from each state to play at online casinos that are based in Nevada or Delaware. To this point, New Jersey has not yet joined the coalition; however, the vast majority of experts predict that Governor Christie and New Jersey lawmakers will eventually choose to be included in this nationwide network.
Some Challenges that Lie Ahead
One of the greatest challenges that online gambling faces in the near future is the major push-back it is receiving from one of the most successful and powerful casino owners in Las Vegas, CEO of the Las Vegas Sands, Sheldon Adelson. The billionaire has pushed hundreds of millions of dollars into a lobbying campaign that is designed to shut the online casino gambling industry down. His money has at least caught the attention of two politicians in D.C. At least one U.S. senator and state representative have joined forces to introduce a bill to the house and senate that would effectively ban online gambling, stripping away a vast majority of its most popular online games, including poker and slot machines.
There are other bills that are also working their way through congress that would regulate online gambling in the U.S. Although experts don’t believe that there will be enough congressional support to pass a bill that will ban online gambling, there are some that believe regulation of the industry is in the not so distant future.