Online Revenue Up in New Jersey but Down Offline
Things are looking a little better in the state of New Jersey as far as online gambling revenue is concerned, but only a little. With credit card transactions still causing problems and residents of the state not fully embracing the new online gambling venture the first few months of regulated online casinos have not provided the tax revenue stream the state was actually looking for, and despite a 28% increase in January that still only accounted for $9.5 million. With the larger states of California and Pennsylvania looking on and using New Jersey as an indicator as to whether or not to regulate gaming themselves, the Garden State is not painting a pretty picture. While numbers of people actually opening accounts looks good, the cash flow does not and those in the industry will know that many casino games players will use the free bonus cash to begin with and not make a real money deposit, and New Jersey regulated casinos have the added problem that when players do attempt to deposit then there is a good chance they'll be declined.
The early geolocation and technical issues appear to have been resolved and Brian Mattingley the 888 CEO stated that, "It's difficult to promote your business when having access to your operation is hard, not only in terms of accessing and logging on but getting payments authorised through credit cards, but it's still only 10 weeks into the project and I am encouraged by the 28 per cent growth. The problems we have with software and dealing with the regulator are minimal. We will see a much more gradual build than a sudden massive lift." It still really is too early to be making any serious conclusions on the New Jersey regulated market, and lifting credit card declines would be a massive help, however that issue seems likely to stick around for some time.
Meanwhile, the combined figures for online gaming and land based casinos in Atlantic City show that online casinos propped up their land based establishments as the 11 casinos had a pretty poor January. The total for land based and online was $195.7 million, down 4.6% from last year, and without the $9.5 million from their online endeavors Atlantic City casinos would be down 9.2% for the month. The land based numbers were not helped by the closure of the Atlantic Club Casino of course.