New Jersey suffers online gaming revenue drop in September

17 October 2014

The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) has reported that following two consecutive months of growth, the US state suffered a fall in online gaming revenue during September.

The state’s regulated online gaming market generated $10.2 million (€8 million) in revenue last month, which is $300,000 lower than the $10.5 million collected in August.

The Borgata and its PartyPoker brand retained top spot amongst the state’s online gaming providers after winning $3.4 million in September.

The organisation also reported that total gambling revenue for the month amounted to $209.4 million, which is about 13% lower than the $240.2 million generated in September before internet gaming had been introduced in the state.

The Taj Mahal suffered the biggest monthly decline in September, with revenue down almost 23% to $17.5 million.

Owners of the facility have threatened to close it on November 13 if it does not receive major concessions from its union workers and aid from both local and state government.

If the Taj Mahal were to close next month, it would become the fifth New Jersey casino to shut its doors this year.

Revel and Trump Plaza both closed in September, while the Showboat closed its doors on August 31 and the Atlantic Club shut back in January.

Despite widespread losses across the gambling market, the DGE is reported to be seeking game developers’ proposals to conduct real-money gambling on skill-based games in an effort to boost the state’s fortunes.

Although some critics have voiced their concerns over the addictive nature of such games, DGE director David Rebuck said that the market presents a number of opportunities to the state.

“More and more we’ve been watching the social gaming arena and hearing about the opportunities it presents,” Rebuck said according to UK newspaper the Guardian.

“We thought, ‘Wait a minute: why aren’t these companies coming to us?’ We are ready, willing and able, under existing law, to deal with this. This is not theoretical any more; this is real.”

In order to take part, developers would have to link up with one of New Jersey’s remaining casinos in the same way that internet gaming providers do.

In addition, players wanting to access such games must be located in New Jersey.

Les Bernal, national director of Stop Predatory Gambling, has hit out at the plans and suggested such development could create a new generation of problem gamblers.

“State officials know the future of New Jersey’s casinos hinges on luring kids to develop a gambling habit,” Bernal said.

Related article: New Jersey enjoys online gaming revenue jump in August