The Atlantic City gambling industry is set to receive a major income boost following the legalization of online gaming in New Jersey.
With New Jersey becoming the third state to legalize online poker and approve of full casino online gambling, the Atlantic City gambling industry is all set for a major boost. The online gambling is estimated to be worth as much as $1.5 billion or more in the next 5 years. According to Moody’s Investors Service, this could be the biggest boost to the gambling industry that has seen its revenues tumble to almost half after peaking at $5.2 billion in 2006. Currently, New Jersey is ranked number three in the top gambling markets in the USA.
According Peggy Holloway, vice president of Moody’s Investor Service, the new law is a welcome step for existing Atlantic City operators where a large number of people who do not visit casinos are likely to be drawn to online gambling. Players can look forward to some great incentives from operators who may invite them to visit their facilities. She emphasized the fact that the current group of 12 Atlantic City operators was plagued with weak revenues and stiff competition from neighboring gaming jurisdictions. In conversation with writer Wayne Parry of the Associated Press, Ms. Holloway did not give an estimate on how much growth it could generate for the New Jersey gaming market although statistics indicate a $3 billion in gaming revenue achieved by the state in 2012.
On the other hand, Dennis Farrell, an analyst with Wells Fargo Securities was more optimistic of the online gambling market being worth as much as $1.5 billion in New Jersey over the next five years with a further boost if interstate online gambling laws are incorporated into the law. Owner of World Series of Poker, Caesars Entertainment is likely to be among the 12 New Jersey casinos to benefit significantly from the law along. Another major benefactor could be MGM Resorts, the co-owner of The Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa, a popular Atlantic City hotel resort. Recently, PokerStars stepped in to purchase the Atlantis Casino and Hotel. This move by the poker giant may be just the right move to boost the casino’s dwindling fortunes and lend its expertise to the online gaming industry. With New Jersey, Nevada, and Delaware moving full steam ahead with online gambling and poker regulations, we are likely to see a few more states make a positive move in the future.