Even though online gambling in the state of New Jersey hasn’t quite met all expectations, some experts believe that it could have a bright future. When it was first introduced to New Jersey by the Christie administration, it was estimated that it could bring in revenues of $180 million in taxes to the state. However, this figure has since been revised to $34 million.
Roger Gros, a gambling expert and publisher of the Global Gaming Business Magazine, has stated that the original revenue projections weren’t realistic enough. Gros said that these number were “kind of made-up” by the governor’s office and that nobody in the gambling community believed that they were achievable in the short term.
The revenue projections weren’t the only problems that appeared when Internet gambling was made available to residents of New Jersey. Just as services were rolled out, many players were having difficulty registering, with some being locked out because the systems didn’t recognize that they were based in New Jersey. Some players have also had problems using their credit cards to gamble online.
Is the Future of NJ Online Gambling Bright
According to Gros, the last issue isn’t a problem with the state’s gambling service, but rather with financial institutions. Many credit card issuers block all online gambling transactions as a federal law prohibits using US based financial institutions to send money to online gambling websites. Even though this law doesn’t apply to state-approved online gambling services, many banks have been slow to make adjustments to their systems.
Despite these problems, experts like Gros believe that the issues can be fixed and that New Jersey can make its online gambling offerings profitable. For now, it is the only state with legal online gambling and it has a big market that it can tap into.
Those who have registered so far are mostly players who have gambled at illegal offshore sites before and know how Internet gambling works. But when new users who have never played online start signing up, it will be important for the state to provide good customer service for them.
Close to 250,000 people have signed up to New Jersey’s legal online gambling services since they were first offered. Even though growth has been relatively slow so far, the outlook seems positive. The state’s 16 legal Internet gambling sites have gained 28 percent in January 2014, collecting $9.5 million. This figure rose to $10.3 million by February.