June 18, 2017 (Washington, D.C.) An economic report released today that examines the effects of interactive gaming on the state of New Jersey finds that the industry is generating tax revenue, adding jobs and spurring technological innovation, with little of the negative impact once anticipated by opponents.
In their paper “Economic Impact of New Jersey Online Gaming: Lessons Learned,” researchers Alan Meister, Ph.D. of Nathan Associates and Gene Johnson of Victor analyzed financial and sociological data accumulated since the 2013 passage of the law permitting online gaming in the United States.
Sponsored by the trade association iDEA (iDevelopment and Economic Association), the study finds that, from its inception through 2016, New Jersey iGaming has directly and indirectly generated a grand total of:
• $998.3 million in output
• 3,374 jobs
• $218.9 million in wages to employees, and
• $124.4 million in tax revenue to state and local governments (including $83.5 million in iGaming taxes).
Supporters of regulated online gaming claim that these benefits could be replicated in other regions.
“New Jersey’s experience provides valuable lessons for other U.S. states considering iGaming legalization in the future,” said Jeff Ifrah, a leading gaming attorney and one of iDEA’s founding members, “The state’s operating environment and regulatory structure provides a portable model which can be modeled by other jurisdictions, bringing much-needed jobs and tax revenue.”
The study also finds that concerns raised during the initial debates, like a possible increase in underage gambling, money laundering, and fraud, are as yet unfounded. According to the report, no major incidents of online cheating or player fraud have yet to be reported at any New Jersey iGaming website; iGaming has had absolutely no measureable impact upon street crime in New Jersey; and to date incidents of cybercrime have been extremely rare.
Mr. Ifrah continued, “New Jersey iGaming is also a success from a regulatory perspective, with some of the strictest iGaming regulation protocols in the world. These regulations guarantee that operators are accountable, and that players can trust that they will be protected.”
The terms “online gaming” and “iGaming” refer to Internet for-profit games such as online poker, online bingo, online casinos, sports betting and lotteries. In the United States, Internet gaming is a highly regulated industry and all businesses must be associated with a brick and mortar casino.
Three states — Delaware, Nevada, New Jersey — and the U.S. Virgin Islands currently offer online casino gambling. Other states such as California, Illinois, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New York, Pennsylvania and Washington are considering legislation which would legalize online gaming.
IDEA (I-Development and Economic Association) is an association seeking to grow jobs and expand online interactive entertainment business in the United States through advocacy and education.