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Is the number of casinos in New Jersey declining?

Although online casino games have only been legal in New Jersey since 2013, they have rapidly become a significant part of the state’s lucrative gambling industry, and revenue continues to grow year after year.

In March, July and September 2018, revenue from online casino games was over $ 25 million. Compared to 2017 sales, this year’s monthly growth has been in double digits. Rural casinos in Atlantic City, in turn, brought in less than $ 20 million a month, prompting some analysts and casino experts to wonder if online gambling would hinder rather than boost casino growth.

The Atlantic City casino industry was hit in 2016 when five major casinos, including the Trump Taj Mahal, the Atlantic Club Casino Hotel and Trump Plaza, closed their doors and tables in the months leading up to the election. During the same period, online casino gaming grew at an annual rate of 62.5 percent. As a result, the online operation of land-based casinos can significantly increase profits. However, it is possible that such a policy will “cannibalize” the sales of their other companies.

Steve Norton, a former casino director and analyst at Atlantic City, argues that the success of online gaming puts this “once healthy” industry at risk because it is likely to reduce our casino participation. As a result, “downsizing” can lead to job losses, bankruptcies, and lower casino revenues and dividends.

As if competition in the online gaming industry isn’t enough, two brand new integrated resorts in Atlantic City recently opened: the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino and the Ocean Resort Casino. The struggle to increase non-gambling and land-based casino revenues for all government institutions is now more difficult than ever. Surprisingly, gaming revenue in September 2018 declined from the previous year in six of Atlantic City’s nine casinos still open.

Wayne Schaffel, another Atlantic City casino insider, believes that as government revenue continues to decline, New Jersey is likely to grow its already lucrative iGaming market (including casino gaming and betting) over the next decade, further weakening the casino, leading to closures. “

The temptation to gamble online

According to global statistics, online casino gaming sites serve a much wider audience than traditional casinos, and this is also true for New Jersey players. Online casinos and poker rooms have a relatively private and unprejudiced environment for gaming, which makes them attractive to female gamers and minorities who may not feel comfortable in a crowded casino. When you consider the wealth of money-saving bonus codes available on online platforms, you start playing casino games at a fraction of the cost of a regular casino.

Online casino games are no longer just desktops and laptops; handheld devices are crucial to the continued growth of the industry. Players can quickly and easily download mobile casinos and individual apps to their smartphones and tablets, ensuring they have access to their favorite games. In addition, online casinos are still open and offer customers games around the clock, 365 days a year.

With a better view

Schaffel and Norton could agree that “there is no real way to make up for the deficit” that would result from the closure of new casinos in New Jersey. However, not all Atlantic City experts agree. PlayNJ.com lead analyst Steve Ruddock’s perception of online casino area cannibalization elsewhere is more of a hyperbol than a fact. He believes the games from online casino games are exaggerated, claiming that it “has not adversely affected visits or consumer spending,” referring to five years of data, suggesting that it is useful everywhere.

Golden Nugget Atlantic City Casino, currently the leading online gaming casino in New Jersey with over $ 227 million in online sales, is a testament to this counter-theory. The online operations of this in-country casino have increased sales and brand awareness among younger customers. “The growth in online gaming coincided with the strong growth in our terrestrial business,” says Thomas Winter, CEO and Senior Vice President of Online Gaming at the casino.