New Jersey lawmakers agreed to allow online gambling services to take place in the state for at least five more years.
On June 28th, state legislators ditched a previous decision to significantly reduce the extension of online casino gambling in New Jersey from 10 to two years, even though an original bill sought to allow online gambling in the state for a further 10 years. After announcing the decision for the much shorter online gambling licenses, the local casino sector, its political allies and lobbyists, as well as various business groups across the state called for New Jersey lawmakers to think twice before making a final decision on the matter.
Eventually, another amendment was brought to the original bill, with legislators deciding to extend online gambling licenses for five rather than two years.
Despite that, the reasons for the previous modification of the bill remained a mystery to the broader public, because local officials provided no explanation for either of the changes, and top Democratic leaders failed to respond to requests for comment on the matter. The former mayor of Atlantic City and a member of the Republican Assembly, Don Guardian, shared that, for the time being, there has been no explanation whatsoever and everyone was simply trying to figure out what happened.
Online Gambling in New Jersey Secured for Now, Although the Sector Hoped for 10-Year Reautorization
The latest change in the original online gambling legislation bill was welcomed by the Chamber of Commerce of Southern New Jersey, with the body praising the General Assembly for its latest move to change its “drastic and unexpected” decision to reauthorize online gambling for just two years and extend the online gambling licenses in the state through 2028.
Although a five-year expansion was not exactly what everyone in the sector hoped for, the adjustment would still allow for the New Jersey sports betting industry to grow after its operating ability has been secured for five more years.
After the previous decision, some speculation that the move might represent potential leverage over Atlantic City emerged among local political officials and casino executives, especially in terms of possibly boosting the taxes that the state collects from the gambling sector. For the time being, in-person winnings generated by gamblers at local casinos are subject to an 8% tax, while online sports betting winnings and online gambling winnings are subject to a 13% and a 15% tax, respectively.
Official data provided by the American Gaming Association (AGA) shows that Atlantic City casinos and their online partners have managed to generate about $6.29 billion since the state of New Jersey officially gave the green light to online bets and started accepting them in November 2013. Money won from online sports bets is not included in the figure mentioned above.
As previously reported by CasinoGamesPro, online gambling was given major credit for helping Atlantic City’s casinos survive during the lengthy lockdowns in 2020 following the Covid-19 pandemic outbreak, and during the months that followed because the number of gamblers visiting the brick-and-mortar venues remained low as fewer people visited the casinos in an effort to avoid large gatherings in indoor spaces.