The US gambling market was hit hard by the UIGEA and many international gambling operators chose to end their businesses here, fearing retribution from the federal government. It took a while until individual states have made the necessary steps towards legalizing online gambling and New Jersey was one of the flag bearers. Since 2001, the state legislature has passed numerous acts aimed at bringing back the thrills of Internet games to an enthusiastic community of players.
New Jersey sets milestones every year
Since the bill sponsored by Raymond Lesniak passed in 2011, allowing online gambling statewide, things have gradually improved. Initially vetoed by Gov. Chris Christie, the law underwent several changes and the revisited bill was finally approved in 2013. As online casinos jumped on the bandwagon, the number of game options increased significantly and covers all popular genres in 2017. Today, there are hundreds of games available and a dozen online casinos provide them to gamblers from New Jersey.
The New Jersey online gambling industry has crossed the psychological threshold of $100 million in tax revenue last year. These numbers provide other US states with the impetus to pass similar law, knowing that a lot of money could go to state coffers. Atlantic City casinos continue to generate more revenue than the online industry, but there are good reasons to expect that this will change. Worldwide, online casinos are more profitable than their land-based counterparts and New Jersey residents can expect the same.
Not surprisingly, land-based casino owners are rightfully concerned about the fast expansion of online gambling and its effect upon their businesses with major UK online casinos like PlayUK looking to move into this lucrative market. As Atlantic City casinos continue to close their doors, some fear economic problems, but others regard this as the natural effect of healthy competition. Brick-and-mortar venues are regulated by the New Jersey Casino Control Commission and also pay hundreds of millions in taxes, so the authorities can’t afford to take their decline lightly.
Online casinos thrive in New Jersey
Now that Internet gamblers can enjoy their favorite games without fearing the law, has led to an increase in the number of players choosing licensed operators. New Jersey residents are more likely to open an account with a casino that operates in complete accord with the law and are no longer willing to take chances with offshore casinos. Social gambling was already permitted in New Jersey and family poker games fell into this category, but now players have more options at their disposal.
The insidious threats of illegal gambling still persist and those who run such rings have no intention to give them. The good news is that law-abiding citizens can now enjoy their favorite games online without breaking the law. Anyone above 21 years old can gamble in both brick-and-mortar and online casinos, slightly different from the age requirement that applies to lottery and horse races. Teenagers who have turned 18 can play these games and there is no minimum age requirement for any forms of social gaming.