As the most populated of only three states that have legalized online gambling, New Jersey has a lot to gain from a well-executed launch. Analysts have estimated that internet gambling could mean anywhere from a $200 million to $1.2 billion market, and others have speculated that it could bring in as many as 2,000 jobs in its first year.
As there is no federal law regulating Internet gambling, only the residents and visitors of the “legal” states will be allowed to play games for money online. Nevada, and its Las Vegas mecca, has legislation legalizing only online poker; New Jersey, by contrast, will offer every game currently offered by the 12 casinos within its borders.
While casino revenues in Atlantic City are steeping into a seven-year losing streak, several analysts, residents, and visitors feel the market stabilizing. One reason for that is the recent opening of the $35 million Margaritaville expansion at the Resorts Casino Hotel and, with no new casinos opening in surrounding states for the first time in a while, New Jersey can take a moment to lure new and returning players with its revitalization.
Judging by the comment threads on a recent NJ.com article, many residents and visitors have seen Governor Christie’s influence on Atlantic City as a positive one; however, the long standing stigma of Atlantic City crime, filth, and out-dated casinos will need more help from the marketing desk at the Tourism Department than the Division of Gaming Enforcement. While many things have improved in Atlantic City–crime is down, shopping venues are increasing, vacant lots are being developed, streets are being repaved–the world may still consider New Jersey to be a far distant cousin of the ever glamorous Las Vegas.
The New Jersey online gambling era is scheduled to launch at the end of 2013.