Pennsylvania on Monday became the fourth state in the nation, and the first since New Jersey, to legalize online gambling.
Once the Keystone State gets its feet wet with the move and works out any kinks over the months ahead, it’s expected New Jersey’s already-growing iGaming industry will prosper significantly.
According to Roger Gros, publisher of Global Gaming Business magazine, it’s only a matter of time before New Jersey and Pennsylvania enter a compact and share online players for games such as poker and slots, like the deal inked in October between the Garden State, Delaware and Nevada.
When such a deal is in place, online gamblers in one state can sign up and deposit on another state’s online plaforms, and vice versa.
“Atlantic City and New Jersey have an advantage right now because we have branded casinos that people understand and they know,” Gros said. “So people are going to want to gamble on the Atlantic City sites more so, I think, than the new Pennsylvania sites.”
Gros said a compact between the two states may be at least a year down the road. It’ll be a coupe months before Pennsylvania gets its own system up and running.
In September, New Jersey’s online casinos surpbaded $20 million in revenue for the seventh consecutive month, according to figures released by the state’s Division of Gaming Enforcement.
The online casino industry in New Jersey is currently on pace to reach a quarter-billion dollars in gross revenue for 2017, which would shatter the $196.7 million brought in by the sites in 2016.
“Online gambling now accounts for some 10 percent of all casino revenue generated by Atlantic City casinos, which is a staggering total for such a young industry,” said Steve Ruddock, lead badyst for PlayNJ.com.
Compared to September 2016, Atlantic City’s seven remaining land-based casinos in September 2017 saw gambling revenue increase by nearly 8 percent. More than half of the casinos had their best September in several years.
According to Rummy Pandit, executive director of the Lloyd D. Levenson Institute of Gaming, Hospitality and Tourism at Stockton University, online play is only helping the brick-and-mortar casinos in Atlantic City; it’s not stealing players that otherwise would make the trip east.
Internet casinos and land-based casinos appeal to different markets, he noted.
“Online gaming provides an introduction to the company that these players are slowly getting familiar with,” Pandit said. “Online gaming makes them understand all the benefits of playing with this company, such as loyalty programs, and as they become more familiar with the institution and their benefits, they realize it might be a good thing to visit the casino itself.”
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