New Jersey Legislature Approves Five-Year Extension for iGaming
In a decision that will shape the landscape of internet gambling in the state, the New Jersey legislature has voted in favor of extending the legal status of online gambling for another five years. It was initially projected that only a two-year extension would be given, and the final decision offers gaming operators relief.
The unanimous passage of the bill, A2190, by a 37-0 vote in the Senate and a 76-2 vote in the state Assembly underscores the support for the thriving iGaming industry in New Jersey. With just hours remaining before their summer break, lawmakers rushed to secure the future of iGaming in the state.
Down to the Wire
The urgency behind the extension stems from the imminent expiration of the 2013 New Jersey law that permits online casinos, slated for November. The extension safeguards over 30 legal online casinos, which have become integral to the $6.45 billion gambling industry in New Jersey, ensuring their operations continue unhindered.
Originally, the casino industry advocated for a 10-year extension. However, after thorough deliberations and amendments, the final bill settled on a five-year extension. Earlier in the week, the Assembly Budget Committee introduced a two-year extension from 2023 to 2025. However, on Wednesday, lawmakers bolstered it with an additional five years, prolonging the authorization until 2028.
iGaming Adds Value
New Jersey boasts around 21 authorized online sportsbooks, regulated under a separate statute. These sportsbooks remain unaffected by the expiration of the 2013 iGaming law, providing an additional avenue for revenue generation.
Since its inception in 2013, iGaming has proven to be an excellent source of revenue for New Jersey. Over the past decade, the state has amassed over $6.2 billion in taxable revenue from iGaming alone. The latest statistics reveal a noteworthy 13.7% increase in year-to-date iGaming revenue reported by casinos and their partners in April, signaling the sustained growth of the industry.
Presently, New Jersey's iGaming revenue, subject to a 15% tax, has surged past $900 million. Projections from a state fiscal note indicate that this figure is expected to soar by an additional $170 million within the next seven months, specifically during fiscal year 2024.
While advocating for the 10-year extension, Mark Giannantonio, President of Resorts Casino Hotel and an official with the Casino Association of New Jersey, stressed the significance of the prolonged extension. He emphasized its critical role in ensuring the continued success of the gaming industry in New Jersey, as well as its contribution to funding various programs supported by the generated tax revenue.
New Jersey stands alongside six states that permit legal iGaming, including Connecticut, Delaware, Michigan, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and the recent addition of Rhode Island. With Rhode Island poised to launch online casinos next year, the extension solidifies New Jersey's position at the forefront of the expanding online gambling landscape.