by Mateusz Mazur

New Jersey iGaming receives five-year extension as Gov. Murphy signs new law

New Jersey’s iGaming industry has been granted a significant extension of five years, now running through November 2028, thanks to an amendment passed by the state’s legislature and signed into law by Governor Phil Murphy.

Five-year extension

Online casinos were authorized to offer interactive slot machines and table games in 2013 when Governor Chris Christie signed the statute into law. Operations began on November 26 of the same year as a result.

Article 6C of the 1976 Casino Control Act, commonly referred to as the amendment, permitted Atlantic City casinos to align their physical licenses with online gaming. However, this provision was initially given a 10-year lifespan and was required to be reauthorized by law.

Recently, Trenton’s state politicians have been actively involved in extending the iGaming legislation. At first, a proposal for a 10-year extension was presented but was later revised to a two-year term. After receiving resistance from the gaming industry, lawmakers reached a compromise and agreed on a five-year extension.

The Assembly has given an overwhelming vote of 76-2 with two lawmakers abstaining in favour of the “An Act Extending the Authorization for the Internet Gaming Law” or Assembly Bill 2190. The bill has now been passed to the Senate where it received unanimous approval with a vote of 37-0, with three lawmakers who did not vote.

Many discussions about the iGaming extension happened privately, with lawmakers avoiding public comments about why they were considering shorter time frames instead of the initially suggested ten-year extension.

The extended legal period for iGaming is expected to attract more operators to the market, due to the increased stability and investment opportunities it offers. Online casino licenses have an initial cost of $400,000 and are renewed annually for $250,000.

Substantial role of iGaming

An illustration of this is how the Borgata has teamed up with 11 iGaming operators, like Party Casino, Pala Casino, and BetMGM, using its physical license. The revenue produced by these operators is combined with the Borgata’s monthly internet gaming revenue, as monitored by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE). Due to this practice, some casino representatives have previously argued that the monthly revenue reports can be deceptive since a substantial chunk of the online revenue is allocated to the internet operator and not the physical casino.

iGaming has significantly contributed to the growth of the gaming industry in Atlantic City since its inception. Over the years, it has gathered around $6.3 billion in revenue from online players. This figure has surged over the past few years, as both younger players and traditional gamblers have shown an increasing interest in exploring online platforms.

New Jersey has reaped significant benefits from iGaming, with the state receiving a 15% portion of the revenue generated from internet gambling. In fact, in just the past year, the state has earned nearly $250 million from iGaming.

Governor Murphy wasted no time in signing Assembly Bill 2190 into law last Friday, emphasizing the crucial role of safeguarding the state’s online gaming industry.

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