Hope for Atlantic City CasinosTia Winter | 23 February 2018
All eyes are on the US state of New Jersey after the state gaming regulator released financial reports for November. The reports revealed that, not only had the state generated more than US$20 million for the ninth month running, it had also seen US$700 million in gaming revenue since 2014.
The US$20.6 million generated in November was 20 percent greater than what was generated in the same month in 2016. Of that, US$18.8 million came from online casino platforms, and US$1.8 million was contributed by online Poker platforms.
The news was met with excitement by casino operators in Atlantic City. Once the jewel of gaming on the East Coast, its famous casinos hit a slump a few years ago. As older players stopped returning to the gaming floor for various reasons, they were not being replaced by young, more tech-savvy players.
Thanks to the city’s casinos’ online platforms, they have been able to reach an audience from whom they were becoming increasingly isolated. New streams of steady income have enabled operators to breathe new life into their land-based casinos while continuing to expand into realms of digital and mobile gaming.
Online Gaming On the Rise
2017 was the best year for online gaming in New Jersey since its 2014 legalisation. It is clear the sector is on the ascendant. According to industry analysts, the state should generate almost US$250 000 from online casino games alone by the end of the year.
While online casinos continue to perform beyond expectation, online Poker has had to face the challenge of smaller revenues. In a bid to resuscitate the sector, the state will enter online Poker compacts with Delaware and Nevada.
State governor Chris Christie said the compacts, which allow player pools to compete against each other online, is expected to boost the 3 states’ gaming revenues, present various opportunities for operators as well as for players, and attract new players to the ailing sector.
According to industry analysts, the boost the online Poker compacts would give to online gaming revenues could see New Jersey generate as much as US$1 billion in lifetime revenue before the end of 2018. The creation of compacts with Delaware and Nevada could also lead to partnerships with other states such as Pennsylvania, as well as international markets such as France and Portugal, which are also looking at shared online Poker liquidity.
Poker is not the only sector that could improve in future. Analysts predict that, in addition to better online casino offerings, skills-based games and eSports could attract and retain even more players.