Governor Signs NJ Online Casino Law Extension After Political Football Game

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NJ online casino

Following some legislative back and forth this summer, NJ online casino law has an extended timeline.

On June 30, Gov. Phil Murphy signed a five-year extension to the New Jersey online casino law. The initial legislation introduced this year extended the iGaming law 10 years but was cut down as legislators reportedly used the issue to secure future political leverage.

With the original 2013 law set to expire in November, a contingent of lawmakers amended the legislation to just two years during a committee last month, all without explanation, according to PlayNJ. The Senate and Assembly eventually landed on a five-year compromise, ensuring New Jersey bettors can access iCasinos until at least 2028.

Play for more taxes in NJ?

Lawmakers amended the bill’s timeframe without announcements or discussions during committee meetings late last month, according to the Associated Press.

The AP reported that the political move to shorten the extension could be a play for leverage over Atlantic City casinos. Lawmakers could attempt to raise gaming tax rates in the future, hoping a promise of a longer timeline could lead to an agreement.

Casinos pay 8% on in-person revenue to the state and 15% on iGaming revenue. The state taxes online sports betting revenue at 13%.

iGaming lucrative for NJ casinos, New Jersey

In 2022, New Jersey brought in $249.4 million from iCasinos, according to the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement.

New Jersey legislators passed the initial 2013 law on the heels of the Great Recession and aimed to help the Atlantic City casino industry recover. The online gaming industry also helped the city weather multi-month, pandemic-related closures in 2020.

“Internet gaming breathed life into Atlantic City’s casinos,” former State Sen. Ray Lesniak, who led the 2013 legalization effort, told NJ Advance Media. “The legislature shouldn’t play games with such a success story.”

More NJ online casino legislation

New Jersey legislators are also looking to ensure gaming advertising is responsible. The resolution AR168 would set a limit on pro-gambling advertisements.

Sen. Joe Cryan introduced S4021 this month to prohibit fraudulent or deceptive gaming ads. There are also bills to prohibit NJ sports betting partnerships with public higher education institutions.

“We’ve got a responsibility as a state to provide restrictions where they’re feasible and in the public interest, and these are,” Cryan told LSR.

Could this affect future expansion?

With the US map quickly filling out with legal sports betting, industry gaming stakeholders now expect iGaming legislation to take precedence. Could the potential pullback of the pioneering state in online casino lead to questions of sustainability in the industry?

An industry source told LSR they believe the timeframe discussions are not too consequential for future legislation.

“New Jersey is still a motivator,” the source said. “It’s made New Jersey a lot of money, and in this moment, there are states with fiscal issues. The experience of New Jersey has shown that there can be real revenue.”