Just when you thought legal online casino gaming in New Jersey would be extended another 10 years, a state Assembly committee decided otherwise.
Lawmakers approved bill A2190 on Tuesday to extend the legalization of NJ online casinos. However, rather than signing off on 10 years, members of the Assembly Budget Committee agreed to decrease that extension to just two years.
There is little doubt that legislators want to allow online casinos to continue operating in the Garden State. For how long remains to be seen.
Original NJ online casinos law nearing expiration
The law that paved the way for NJ online casino gaming to launch in 2013 expires in November 2023. The plan appeared to essentially renew that law for another decade.
An identical bill, S3075, sits in the Senate but has not been referred out of committee.
New Jersey laid the template and became the benchmark for other states even considering the legalization of online casino gaming. And the NJ online casinos industry certainly helped Atlantic City casinos during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Internet gaming has kept New Jersey at the forefront of an evolving gambling industry,” said Sen. Vince Polistina, a co-sponsor of the Senate proposal. “This extension supports the inegral role that the internet plays in shaping the current and future success of casinos in New Jersey.”
Why not extend NJ online casinos another 10 years?
Obviously online casinos in New Jersey has been a roaring success over the past decade.
Since launching in 2013, online casinos have generated over $6.2 billion in NJ online gambling revenue, resulting in more than $925 million in state tax revenue.
However, some industry executives still find a way to express concern. For one, NJ online casinos are taxed at a higher rate (15%) than land-based casinos (8%). On top of that, those operators have to share revenue with other partners, such as platform providers who supply back-end technology.
Yet the online industry has only grown over the past 10 years. In fact, the top three revenue-generating months in the history of NJ online casinos occurred within the past three months, most recently over $161 million in May.
The trend of NJ online casinos is point upward. And extending their legalization another 10 years makes the most sense, according to Mark Giannantonio, president of Resorts Atlantic City and the Casino Association of New Jersey, per the Associated Press.
“The reauthorization of the internet gaming bill for 10 years is vital to the continued success of the gaming industry in New Jersey and the programs that are supported by the taxes collected. This will also provide investor confidence in the New Jersey internet gaming industry.”