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 fundamentals of the bill:
– Casinos situated in Atlantic City will have the ability to apply for a license to offer online gambling. Only the twelve official Atlantic City casinos will soon be entitled to the license. No other organizations can provide internet gambling, and face stiff fines when they do. All facilities employed for the operation of internet gambling must be located within city limits; only bets which can be received by a server in Atlantic City will soon be legal.
– Players must be “physically present” in New Jersey to position 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 open to play in the casinos can be played online. (For comparison, Nevada only allows poker.) As of now, sports betting won’t be protected by this bill, although their 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 yakin 777 1-800-GAMBLER hotline number, a method to set maximum bets and losses over a certain 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 their state will soon be generated from this tax, however many analysts think this number is seriously overestimated.
The state regulations, that your bill required the Division of Gaming Enforcement to produce, were released on June 3, and are susceptible to a “public comment period” until August 2 before being finalized. These rules include details such as for instance how a casino acquires the right licenses and procedures for maintaining network security on gambling sites.
So, will online gambling actually benefit their state?
Revenues from Atlantic City casinos have been on the decline for yesteryear 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 may be enough to help keep struggling casinos afloat and save jobs in Atlantic City. Further, even though estimates of tax revenue are throughout the map, there’s potential for online gambling to be 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 assist with 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 visit the brick-and-mortar casinos, but it is hard to say if online gambling will actually lead to the outcome. You can speculate it may even cause people to go to the casinos less (However, this seems unlikely; the social element and the free drinks are lost in online gambling. Also, research indicates that, at least with poker, internet gaming does not reduce casino gaming.) Advertising for the host casino will soon be allowed on the internet gambling sites, which could possibly encourage people to visit the casino but is also annoying for players.
Online gambling could possibly be seriously devastating for those 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 certainly be much harder to stop compulsive gamblers if they are able to place bets anywhere with a web connection.
Regardless, it will be described as a while ahead of 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 won’t be enjoying this new source of revenue throughout the 2013 summer season, which may be Atlantic City’s toughest season ever following recovery from Hurricane Sandy.