Senate Bill To $7 Billion: 10 Years Of NJ Online Casinos By The Numbers

Written By David Danzis on November 21, 2023 - Last Updated on November 22, 2023
fireworks explode behind outline of state of new jersey for story on the numbers behind 10 years of nj online casinos

The story of 10 years of legal online casinos in New Jersey cannot be told with words alone. In fact, some may argue that the numbers behind the unprecedented success of NJ’s internet gambling industry are even more telling and more enlightening than the prettiest of prose.

From dates and times, to operators and revenue, to taxes and fees, the numbers behind online gambling in NJ are remarkable. As the official 10-year milestone approaches, PlayNJ is breaking down some of the figures associated with one of the US gaming industry’s greatest success stories ever.

October capped off a historic 10-year run by NJ online casinos. At the end of its first decade, the industry generated over $7 billion in revenue and more than $1 billion in taxes, while also helping to keep Atlantic City casinos afloat during the worst of the Coronavirus pandemic.

graphic showing $7.07 billion in NJ online casino revenue, $1.04 billion state tax revenue

Remembering the roots of NJ online gambling

History will show that New Jersey legalized online gaming on February 26, 2013. That was the day former Gov. Chris Christie signed Senate Bill 1565 into law.

Months later, on October 21 and October 28, the Division of Gaming Enforcement adopted regulations to govern internet gambling operations. Among them was the requirement that all customers be at least 21 years old.

On November 21, 2013, the DGE authorized a “soft launch,” or test period, of online casinos in NJ. On November 25, state gaming regulators approved full play for six licensees.

At 9 a.m. on November 26, 2013, legal online casino gambling in NJ went live.

According to the Casino Control Commission, those operators saw the creation of more than 126,000 online user accounts in 2013.

The biggest winner of NJ online casinos: New Jersey

Of all the big winners since NJ legalized online gaming 10 years ago, the biggest winner — by far — has been the State of New Jersey (other than the operators themselves, which we’ll get into in just a moment).

The state taxes online casino revenue at a rate of 15%.

From November 2013 through October 2023, online gambling revenue generated more than $1.45 billion in taxes for the Garden State, funds used to help benefit and assist senior and disabled citizens in New Jersey.

The trajectory of online gambling revenue taxes in the state has only gone up since 2013. In that first year (really only two months), internet gambling generated roughly $1.26 million in taxes.

By the end of 2014 — the first full year — the segment’s tax contributions had increased substantially, generating approximately $18.4 million in taxes in 2014. Tax collections jumped to over $22.3 million the following year.

Annual taxes from online casinos increased each successive year.

  • 2016: $29.5 million
  • 2017: $36.8 million
  • 2018: $44.9 million
  • 2019: $72.5 million

In 2020, the entire world changed. With brick-and-mortar casinos in Atlantic City closed for months due to COVID-19, online gambling became an even more attractive option for players.

As annual NJ online gambling revenue crept closer to $1 billion that year (see below), taxes from iGaming exceeded $145.7 million.

Gamblers may have returned to casinos in 2021, but they kept going back online, too. As a result, tax collections from internet gaming in 2021 were more than $205.2 million.

Yet 2022 stole the show, a record-setting year for the online casino industry in NJ. And the state reaped the rewards. NJ took in almost $250 million in taxes last year from just online casinos. By comparison, AC casinos — taxed at 8% on land-based revenue — paid $179 million in taxes from in-person gamblers in 2022.

graphic showing monthly revenue totals for new jersey online casinos since 2013

Revenue records set – over and over and over again

Now that we’ve gotten the boring nitty gritty out of the way, let’s talk about the numbers that really capture attention: revenue.

Most people think casinos basically print money. However, Atlantic City knows firsthand that not every casino is destined to be a cash cow.

Online casinos, on the other hand, are about as foolproof a business strategy as there is. Imagine all the profit potential of running a gambling parlor without any of the costly overhead it takes to operate one. That’s the essence of running a legal online casino.

In the first 14 months of legal internet gambling in NJ, operators reported slightly more than $131.2 million.

That figure looks cute compared to today.

Monthly online gambling revenue first eclipsed the $100-million mark in January 2021. Since then, only once (February 2021) has the market failed to do so again.

New Jersey online casinos have generated over $140 million in every month of 2023. Online casino revenue has actually gone above $160 million four times this year, including a record-setting $166.8 million in October 2023.

Just how high can NJ online casinos go from here? Time will tell.

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE TOP NJ ONLINE CASINOS:

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David Danzis

David Danzis is the lead writer for PlayNJ. He is a New Jersey native and honors graduate of Rutgers University. As a newspaper reporter for the New Jersey Herald and Press of Atlantic City, David earned statewide awards for his coverage of politics, government, education, sports, and business. Today, he is PlayNJ’s Atlantic City “insider” and gaming industry expert on casinos, sports betting, and online gambling. David lives in Atlantic County, NJ with his wife and two children.

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