[toc]It must be getting hard for state lawmakers around the country to ignore what’s going on in New Jersey.
In July, the state’s burgeoning online gambling industry posted another $20 million-plus month. According to state regulators, New Jersey’s online gambling operators pulled in $20.58 million in internet gaming revenue last month.
That’s quite a bit more than the $17.4 million recorded in New Jersey in July of last year — A year in which total New Jersey internet gaming revenues reached $196.7 million. That was a record. It also helped the otherwise ailing Atlantic City casino industry pull out of a decade-long drought.
New Jersey online gambling on a record revenue pace
This year, New Jersey’s online gambling sector is averaging around $20 million a month in revenue. In fact, it looks poised to break that record and push past the $240 million-mark by the end of the year. The truth is, online gambling revenues have already reached $142 million through the first seven months of 2017.
The numbers just keep going up. Total online gaming revenues since the launch of online gambling in New Jersey in November 2013 have now passed the $600 million-mark. With the numbers from July 2017 added in, New Jersey online gambling operators have now earned combined gross revenues of $619.36 million since going online four years ago this coming November.
$108.1 million is a hard number to ignore
The state, which charges a 15 percent tax on internet gaming operations, collected another $3.6 million in tax revenue from online gambling last month. The total state taxes collected since launch is now over $108.1 million. That’s a number that should be impossible for state legislators across the US to continue to ignore.
By the time the year ends it should reach at least $125 million. That’s an average of more than $30 million a year over four years. Is there a state in the union that couldn’t use $30 million a year in tax revenues to help balance its budget?
New Jersey presents an example others should follow
New Jersey has presented state governments across the country with a perfect example of what legalized and regulated online gambling can do for them. It’s time they all take a long hard look at the numbers and get on board, moving forward with online gaming legislation of their own. Regulated markets for online gambling in Pennsylvania and Illinois seem likely to launch next. Other states need to wise up and follow suit.
In every state, the opposition will trot out the same old tired arguments about protecting children and gambling addicts. They’ll ignore what the industry has already done to effectively plug those leaks.
But even they can no longer ignore what the New Jersey numbers say, and will be forced to admit all the good that $30 million a year in tax revenue can do in their state, far outweighs any perceived bad created by legalizing and regulated online gambling.