After some last-minute waffling, the New Jersey state legislature today voted to extend legal internet gambling in the Garden State for another five years — down from a 10-year extension requested by the state’s casino industry.
The five-year extension in A2190 passed the Senate on a 37-0 vote and the state Assembly by a vote of 76-2 on Friday just hours before state lawmakers begin a months-long summer break. The bill will now be officially enrolled and sent to Gov. Phil Murphy to be signed into law.
Without the extension, a 2013 New Jersey law that authorizes internet gambling, or iGaming, in the state will expire this November. That would put in limbo more than 30 legal online casinos that the casino industry calls “vital” to New Jersey’s $6.45 billion gambling industry.
Casinos have been pushing for a 10-year extension originally included in the legislation but amended out of the bill this week. A shorter extension of two years — from 2023 to 2025 — added to the bill by the Assembly Budget Committee mid-week was beefed up Wednesday with the five-year extension that would stretch authorization through 2028.
New Jersey also has around 21 online sportsbooks authorized under another statute. That law is not affected by the expiration of the 2013 law.
NJ Internet Gambling is Big Business
Internet gambling in New Jersey has been extremely lucrative since it launched in 2013.
Over $6.2 billion in taxable revenue has been generated from iGaming in the state in the past decade, and revenue continues to grow. In April, casinos and their partners reported a 13.7 percent increase in year-to-date iGaming revenue from the previous period.
State iGaming revenue in New Jersey — taxed at 15 percent — today totals over $900 million. According to a state fiscal note, that revenue is expected to grow by $170 million in just seven months throughout fiscal year (FY) 2024 alone.
New Jersey’s casino industry earlier this week was pushing lawmakers for a 10-year extension to the 2013 iGaming law. According to the Associated Press, Resorts Casino Hotel president and Casino Association of New Jersey official Mark Giannantonio on Tuesday reportedly had no comment on the shorter timeframe proposed and later passed by the state Assembly.
“The reauthorization of the internet gaming bill for 10 years is vital to the continued success of the gaming industry in New Jersey and the programs that are supported by the taxes collected,” Giannantonio was reported as saying by the AP.
New Jersey is one of six states that currently has legal iGaming. The other five states with legal internet gambling are Connecticut, Delaware, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. Rhode Island, which legalized iGaming earlier this month, is expected to launch online casinos sometime next year.