Gambling in New Jersey
New Jersey is located at the Northeastern part of the United States, is a peninsula bordered by New York, Pennsylvania, Delaware and the Atlantic Ocean. Even if it is the fourth smallest state, it’s actually the 11th in terms of population, being the most densely populated from the entire country and the third richest state in terms of average income.
Gambling History and Scenario
Gambling plays a huge role when it comes to American History. Throughout the years, the state of New Jersey has proved to be pretty indecisive when it comes to their stance on gaming. The first signs of gambling are found as far back as the 1850s. Around that time, some of the most popular gaming types were pari-mutuel betting and horse racing.
New Jersey has historic racetracks, including Freehold Raceway, which dates from 1853, being the oldest half-mile racetrack in the United States. Monmouth Park is another historic track which opened in 1870. The $1 million Haskell Invitation even is held at this track.
From then until 1894 gaming was a very popular form of leisurely entertainment. In 1894, the industry came to a stop when all forms of gambling were banned until 1970 when the lottery was started.
With the competition of Atlantic City, the lottery is not on the spotlight, but do note that it is the main source of gaming revenue to the state, generating $3.3 billion sales in tickets, with $1 billion funding state schools as well as other programs.
The re-legalization of horse racing in the 1970s brought the Meadowlands Racetrack with its Hambletonian trotting event. Meadowlands is also famous for being home to the New York Jets and the New York Giants.
In 1987 the New Jersey residents saw the first casino open. As the years passed and more casinos opened, Atlantic City became second to Las Vegas as a premier choice for gaming in the whole country.
Currently, the state has 7 commercial casinos, offering over 30.000 slots and close to 1.500 table games, impressive numbers. The biggest casino is Bally’s Atlantic City, which by itself has over 5.000 slots and 200 table games, being the second biggest casino the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa.
These casinos have the full range of games including poker, blackjack, baccarat, craps, roulette, slots, you name it. There is an ongoing debate regarding the construction of more casinos in the northern part of the state to compete with the casinos from New York, but the competition this would also mean to Atlantic City has left the situation unsupported enough to advance.
New Jersey is one out of three states in the country who have legalized online gambling, being Delaware and Nevada the other two states. The Garden State does have a bigger gaming market than the other two states, having 5 operations.
The five operators are the Borgata, Resorts Casino, Tropicana, Golden Nugget and Caesars Interactive, and each of these has their own network and several sites. Online gambling revenues have been increasing ever since 2013, is the most recent value available close to $200 million.
Even if this is a significant value, it is way below what is expected, as 2014 predictions pointed to $1 billion in revenues and $180 in taxes, considering the 15% taxes. The $30 in taxes are short for the budget problems of the state, but still a considerable help.
Summing up the Types of Gaming in New Jersey
Atlantic City is known throughout the world as one of the best destinations for gaming, they see visitors from around the world. The state offers several different kinds of gambling. Players who are 18 and over are welcomed to play the state lottery which has games like Powerball, Jersey Cash 5, Pick 4, Pick 3, Mega Millions and others.
There are eight racetracks found throughout the small state with ample casino choices with all of the most common gaming styles available. To gamble in the casinos, players will need to be at least age 21 or over.
New Jersey has the gambling paradise image because of Atlantic City, but there are some restrictions, namely the casino activity is limited to Atlantic City, not other regions of the state. At the same time, tribal casinos are forbidden, and charity gaming is restricted too.
The revenues involved in the gambling activity are huge though, over $3 billion from the lottery and $2.4 billion from the casinos, data from 2016. The numbers are coming down though, as we can see by analyzing the $5.2 billion from the casino revenue from 2006, proving the industry is declining.