The online gambling industry is thriving around the world right now, but it wasn’t like that years ago. In fact, it all began in 2018 and thanks to an unlikely savior – New Jersey. While gambling is synonymous with Las Vegas—the Sin City—Atlantic City was there way before it and was instrumental in paving the way for the currently vast American iGaming market.
Before we delve into how essential it is for the economy, we need to go to the past. We’ll take a look at how New Jersey led the way in online gambling legalization and how it all started later.
Before online gaming went supernova in the USA, things weren’t that great. Due to the PASPA act, which is short for Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, which was in effect since 2012, sports betting was outlawed nation-wide, with the exception of a few states. Those were Nevada, Delaware, Montana, and Oregon. Everywhere else it was illegal to bet on sports to the dismay of many.
Right now, you can play your favorite casino games online in most states in the USA without having to look over your shoulder. Casino sites are thriving with loyalty and VIP bonuses in New Jersey, and players are flocking to them like moths to flame. The online gambling industry is much better for the average player than land-based casinos simply because of game variety and bonus offers. Many of them are too good to refuse, but it was a hell of a challenge in the past.
Despite pleas from experts and sports bettors alike, the law stayed in effect for decades. It wasn’t until 2018 and the actions of New Jersey’s governor Phillip Murphy that online sports betting and gambling saw the light of day.
That fateful year, New Jersey led the way to repeal the PASPA act. It took a lot of time convincing others to join the cause. In fact, the whole ordeal lasted for 7 years before the Supreme Court decided that the act is in conflict with the Tenth Amendment. The floodgates were immediately opened. Sports betting was now live and much improved thanks to online sportsbooks. It was the same with online casinos, who had a better library of games and bonuses that players enjoyed.
New Jersey’s role in it all was instrumental. Atlantic City was already a powerhouse when it comes to land-based gambling, but not nearly as big as Las Vegas. Things have changed after the overturned PASPA act. Years later, New Jersey has the large post-PASPA games, reaping the benefits of the seeds it planted itself.
The PASPA act was unnecessary and harsh and everyone knew it. It’s surprising that it took that much time for a new case to be made against it. Gambling may be dangerous, but it’s also plays a major role in each state’s revenue. Of course, every state decides on its own if it legalizes online gambling, but the government won’t put up any obstacles. It will collect taxes, though, and very big ones considering how sizeable the market is.
Since the act was overturned, Americans have spent over $220 billion at legal sports betting outlets. During that timeframe, sportsbooks kept less than $20 billion in winnings. According to data from the American Gaming Association, over $31 billion from those $220 came from New Jersey. That’s a lot of money – the most of any state.
New Jersey’s early experience in sports gambling helped it climb to the top of the list of countries who have benefited the most. Of course, compared to shady outlets in the past, legalized gambling sites are more aware about the dangers of gambling and willing to help. The fact that you don’t have to go anywhere to gamble means that gambling problems are closer than ever. Luckily, NJ is on top of it, offering top-notch consumer gambling protection programs, and remaining open for new solutions.
What Does the Future Hold?
The future for online gambling in the USA is bright. That goes double for New Jersey. Data from the summer has shown that the gambling revenue in the state is up 14%, despite the fact that most casinos trail the pre-pandemic levels. It’s been a struggle in the past few years, but that can change very quickly.
There are literally no signs that New Jersey’s growth will ever stop. The state that gave us online gambling five years ago leads in every category when it comes to online gambling. It’s by far the best in Internet betting, and has the best online casinos too. The number of bets placed at both is staggering, and those numbers go up every year. The more money players pour into casinos, the more money pours in the state’s revenue bag.
How Are Other States Doing?
Once New Jersey paved the way for iGaming in American, other countries needed a bit of time to adjust. That gave NJ the head start and is the reason why it’s reaping the benefits. But, many other states learned from that example, with just a few currently standing firm on their heels that they won’t allow online gambling.
States such as California and Indiana have realized the potential it offers. Online gambling is no slouch. Revenue-wise, it’s right up there with the most lucrative industries. Casinos and sportsbooks make tons of money every year, and that’s why NJ pushed so hard to legalize it. Sports betting helps New Jersey in many ways. Land-based venues attract players from other states, while locals have loads of betting options to pick from online. Add to that the mix of bonuses and promotions and the thousands of games, and it’s hard to stay on the outside.
As the industry continues to rebuild post-COVID, new casino sites will emerge everywhere in states where online gambling is legal. The iGaming market’s march can’t be stopped, and it’s a win-win for both casinos and states.