Several States Are Trying, But None Seem To Be As Great As New Jersey

Written By Jessica Welman on June 17, 2017 - Last Updated on March 10, 2022
Welcome to New Jersey sign

New Jersey always gets a bad wrap, but when it comes to online poker, the Garden State is Eden. New Jersey continues to set records and rake in hundreds of millions in revenue for both the casinos and the state. In the meantime, several other states are in increasingly dire financial straits.

Here is a look at how New York, Illinois, and Pennsylvania are doing on their quest to regulate online gambling as well as a glimpse of what the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow looks like. The answer? It looks a lot like Atlantic City.

NY close but probably no online poker cigar this year

This time last week, there was nothing but optimism about online poker’s chances in New York. What a difference a week makes.

First, the positive. The state Senate, which passed similar measures in past years, approved this year’s online poker bill by an overwhelming majority. Industry experts knew the big issue would be the Assembly though. And they were right.

It certainly seemed like this could be the year in the Assembly. After all, Assemblyman J. Gary Pretlow, who previously blocked such online gaming bills, was on board.

In a recent interview with Online Poker Report, Pretlow admitted chances are slim the bill gets out of committee before the legislature adjourns. The best hope is the bill gets tied up in a different measure and becomes a bargaining chip.

Nonetheless, there is still hope, so if you are a New Yorker and have not contacted your state Assembly member, now is the time.

Illinois online gambling could be billion-dollar venture

While New York lawmakers discuss and debate online poker, Illinois lawmakers are doing the same about poker, online casino, and daily fantasy sports (DFS). The state is in a similar boat, with a bill that got through the Senate but is now lying dormant in the House.

Chris Grove recently authored a report for our site that is certainly of interest to those lawmakers. According to Grove’s projections, the Illinois online gambling industry could be worth as much as $1.7 billion in as little as five years.

Currently the House is in continuous session while the group tries to approve a budget for the state. Given the state’s need for cash, it certainly seems like the lucrative online casino industry is something worth considering.

Eight is enough for Pennsylvania slot decline

A state in a similar budgetary crisis as Illinois is Pennsylvania. Arguably, the Keystone State’s situation is even more dire. The state is currently dealing with a billion-dollar budget shortfall.

Facing such a big deficit, lawmakers are seriously considering online gambling. One version of the bill is through the Senate, another, wildly different version, is through the House. Now it is a matter of meeting in the middle, and time is of the essence.

The latest revenue reports from the brick and mortar casinos in Pennsylvania revealed an eighth-straight month of casino slot revenue declines. Thanks to the strong performance of table games, there was not tremendous decline year-over-year. Nonetheless, this is officially a trend. Moreover, it is a trend that shows no sign of reversing.

With casinos struggling as well as the state, now could be the perfect time to expand to online gambling.

New Jersey quietly surpasses $100 million in online casino tax revenue

While these other states struggle to make ends meet, New Jersey keeps quietly, and profitably, chugging along. The state recently surpassed $100 million in online casino revenue for the state after just over three years of operation.

The state is not the only beneficiary of iGaming either. For the third-straight month, New Jersey online casinos surpassed $20 million in overall monthly revenue. In fact, last month was the second-best month for the industry ever. The industry continues to grow, helping land-based casinos rebound from a rough few years in Atlantic City.

Everyone in New Jersey is happy with the arrangement. So much so, they want to say it loud and proud. The state House recently passed a resolution urging President Donald Trump and his administration to stay away from any federal regulations to ban online gambling.

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Jessica Welman

Jessica Welman has worked as a tournament reporter for the World Poker Tour, co-hosted a podcast for Poker Road, and served as the managing editor for A graduate of Indiana University and USC, Welman is not only a writer but also a producer. She can be found on Twitter @jesswelman.

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